Elm Street Economy

DEFINITION of 'Elm Street Economy'

The Elm Street economy is a contemporary economic movement that encourages self-sufficiency on a regional, city-wide or neighborhood-wide basis. The movement rejects globalization and promotes many alternative ideas instead, including renewable energy, decreasing personal consumption, and the use of alternative means of exchange, such as bartering.


The Elm Street economy postulates that an increasingly complex and globalized economy is inherently unstable, and that greater economic security and well-being can be achieved through eliminating economic dependence on others outside of a local community.

BREAKING DOWN 'Elm Street Economy'

The term Elm Street is derived as an alternative to the usual Main Street/Wall Street economic dichotomy. Elm Street is meant to symbolize an economy focused on the residential neighborhood as an economic unit. This is in contrast to Main Street, which (as used by Elm Street promoters) is meant to symbolize large corporate interests, and Wall Street which symbolizes global finance. It is unclear how prevalent the Elm Street economy is currently in use as a total system. Rather, the movement is perhaps best understood as a patchwork of the Green movement, urban homesteading, buy local initiatives and the new frugality movement.