Economics has often been described as "the dismal science," with TV and movies reinforcing this description. However, economics is a powerful tool that can be used to understand how the world works, helping to answer confusing puzzles and solve the world’s problems. Surprisingly, Broadway musicals are an excellent way to show this.
Musicals tell engaging stories through song and many are rich with economic concepts. This book analyzes 161 songs from 90 musicals to explore what they can teach us about supply and demand, monetary policy and numerous other core economic concepts. While some songs have an obvious connection to economics, other connections may seem less apparent. When you hear "Let it Go" from Frozen, does your mind think about a firm’s production decisions? After reading this book, it will. Whether showing how Hamilton can illustrate concepts of central banking, or how "Stars" from Les Miserables provides a perfect example of inelastic demand, the author presents complicated topics in an understandable and entertaining way.
Featuring classic songs from some of the most popular shows ever produced, along with some hidden gems, Broadway and Economics will be of interest to anybody studying an introductory economics course as well as theatre aficionados.
Table of Contents
Introduction, 1776, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Annie, Annie Get Your Gun, Anyone Can Whistle, Avenue Q, Beauty and the Beast, Big Fish, Billy Elliot, Bonnie and Clyde, Cabaret, Candide, Carousel, Chicago, Cinderella, Closer than Ever, Curtains the Musical, Dames at Sea, Dear World, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Do I Hear a Waltz?, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, Frozen, Follies, Fun Home, Grease, Gypsy, Hamilton, Hands on a Hardbody, Happy End, Heathers the Musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hello Dolly, Honeymoon in Vegas, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, I Can Get it For You Wholesale, If/Then, In the Heights, Inside U.S.A., Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Kinky Boots, Kiss Me Kate, La La Land, Legally Blonde, Les Misérables, Little Shop of Horrors, Made in Dagenham, Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins, Matilda, Moana, Oliver!, On the Twentieth Century, Once On This Island, One Man, Two Guvnors, Pacific Overtures, Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, Ragtime, Rent, School of Rock, She Loves Me, Shrek the Musical, Something Rotten, Sunday in the Park with George, Sunny Afternoon, Sunset Boulevard, Tenderloin, The Addams Family, The Bridges of Madison County, The Fix, The Full Monty, The Last Five Years, The Last Ship, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, The Music Man, The Pajama Game, The Rothschilds, The Sound of Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Tovarich, Urinetown, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Song Reference Table, References
Matthew C. Rousu is Professor of Economics at Susquehanna University, USA. He is a prolific researcher and frequently contributes to or is quoted by news outlets, including USA Today, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Forbes.