The Beatles and Economics: Entrepeneurship, Innovation, and the Making of a Cultural Revolution, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Beatles and Economics

Entrepeneurship, Innovation, and the Making of a Cultural Revolution, 1st Edition

By Samuel R. Staley


112 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138363540
pub: 2020-04-30
SAVE ~$8.99
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 30th April 2020
Hardback: 9781138363526
pub: 2020-04-30
SAVE ~$31.00
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 30th April 2020

FREE Standard Shipping!


The Beatles are considered the most influential popular music act of the 20th century, widely recognized for their influence on popular culture. The inability of other bands and artists to imitate their fame has prompted questions such as: How did The Beatles become so successful? What factors contributed to their success? Why did they break up?

The Beatles and Economics: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the Making of a Cultural Revolution answers these questions using the lens of economic analysis. Economics provides the prism for explaining why their success - while legendary in scale - is not mythic. This book explores how the band’s commercial achievements were intimately tied to the larger context of economic globalization and rebuilding post-World War II. It examines how The Beatles’ time in Hamburg is best understood as an investment in human capital, and why the entrepreneurial growth mindset was critical to establishing a scalable market-niche and sustaining The Beatles’ ability to lead and shape emerging markets in entertainment and popular music. Finally, later chapters consider how the economics of decision making and organizational theory helps us to understand the band’s break up at its economic peak.

This essential text is of interest to anyone interested in the economic dynamics and social forces that shape cultural change.


"Can’t Buy Me Love? Over 100 million albums sold say otherwise. Sam Staley uses the lens of economics as your Ticket to Ride from Penny Lane to Taxman. You can’t buy love…but you can buy this book!" – Professor Dirk Mateer, University of Arizona, USA

“Sam Staley’s new book does something unique: It explains core principles of cultural entrepreneurship, not by statistical analysis (as in the research literature) or by sketchy anecdotes, but by a sustained, detailed analysis of a team of cultural entrepreneurs, namely The Beatles. As such, it fills an important gap in modern writing on cultural economics and entrepreneurship. The book is extremely well-written, and although it makes use of much economics and management theory it is highly accessible." – Professor Nicolai Foss, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Black Swan of Popular Music?

Chapter 2. Liverpool Start Up

Chapter 3. Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and the Growth Mindset

Chapter 4. How Private Markets Enabled Sgt. Pepper’s Band to Play

Chapter 5. Breaking Up is Hard to Do… Or Is It?

Chapter 6. A Second Coming? Lessons from the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys

Chapter 7. Economic Reflections from the Afterlife

About the Author

Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D., is Director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy at Florida State University, USA, where he teaches economics and social entrepreneurship.

About the Series

Routledge Economics and Popular Culture Series

Ever wondered how the key concepts of central banking can be explained through the songs from Hamilton?

Or what you can learn about entrepreneurs and the role of ethics in business from Jurassic World?

Or what the 80-year career of Wonder Woman can teach us about the evolving role of women in the workplace?

These questions, and many more, are answered in the Routledge Economics and Popular Culture series. Each book in this series demonstrates that blockbuster franchises, smash hits on Broadway, comic book creations, and bestselling novels, all provide perfect examples of key economic ideas and principles in practice. Written in a clear and concise style, and assuming no previous background in economics, these books demonstrate that the ‘dismal science’ can be a lot more fun than you might think.

Proposals for new books in the series can be sent to the Routledge editor: [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Microeconomics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Entertainment