The economic aspect of hitchhiking is a very interesting topic. Wechner indicated finance as one the four main motivations for hitchhiking, the other one being adventure, environment and social sharing . The incentive to this question at the moment is mainly the current economic crisis that is in execution among banks, governments, public and business that in all likeliness will last for many many years to come, mostly in Northern America and Europe. Following the recent news there seems to be already some reason to be concerned (which applies mostly to people who are in debt). In other words - would economic recession / depression increase again the number of hitchhikers, which in the US and Europe basicly used to be in decline since the 1980s. Will hitchhiking in the US and EU increase and popularize due to increasing poverty in the coming ten to twenty years? Such macro economic developments are fascinating.