The Beatles — The Taxman

I reached out on Twitter to solicit advice for great music videos associated with different lessons, and my former teaching assistant responded with this great song from the Beatles. One of the great lines from the song goes like this:

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

This is a great opener for a lesson on taxes and tax policy.

Thanks to Marissa Reuther for the song suggestion

Beyonce — Irreplaceable

 

Beyonce does a great job discussing just how valuable she is as a partner (inelastic), but that her man isn’t all that special because “I could have another you in a minute” (elastic). These are good lines to talk about perfectly inelastic and perfectly elastic demand.

Thanks to Michael Coon for the recommendation!

Das Racist — Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell

If you haven’t driven by YUM!’s combination stores, they are a site to see. A family of picky eaters can stop by a location and grab a combination (depending on the pairings) of pizza, tacos, fried chicken, fish, or burgers. The combination of stores varies depending on the area, and some even have three-in-one:

pizza hut taco bell kfc

This song (and accompanying picture) can serves a great introduction to the concepts of product differentiation and economies of scope. The YUM! brands have a large presence in major categories in the fast food market:

4. KFC —  20,404 locations
7. Pizza Hutt — 13,728
11. Taco Bell — 6,500

Thanks to Rob Szarka for the recommendation.

Y.N. RichKids — Hot Cheetos and Takis

I reached out to #EconTwitter and asked what songs they like to use to teach different topics in their classes and the results did not disappoint:

Travis didn’t hesitate to reach out and suggest this catchy song about two popular snacks that they enjoy eating. The first question that comes to mind is if the two snacks are complements or substitutes for one another, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a combination bag from Frito-Lay soon.

Thanks to Travis Roach for the song suggestion.

Billy Paul — Let the Dollar Circulate

I reached out to #EconTwitter and asked what songs they like to use to teach different topics in their classes and the results did not disappoint:

Since I’m not a macroeconomist, I have very little content on the macro side from tv and movies, but apparently music covers a lot of macro topics. The first suggestion was this 1975 Billy Paul song, Let the Dollar Circulate which begs for money to start flowing through the economy and wonders why things have slowed down (Is it all because of Watergate?). Paul notes that “Things are gettin’ higher, makes it hard on the buyers”  (inflation is happening) and “Unemployment on the rise.” The song was released at the end of the 1973-1975 recession. I was curious what unemployment and inflation looked like in the 1970s leading up to the recession, so I went and put together a FRED chart for you:

Thanks to Leo for the song suggestion!

Kyle — Playinwitme feat. Kehlani

One of the fun topics of decision making is to ask students if they have ever been stuck in a relationship they weren’t happy with, but they continued dating that person anyway. The most common response to why this occurs is that the students have invested a lot of time in the relationship and they don’t want to see it wasted. This example is an introduction to the irrational decision making people often go through because of their resiliancy to focus on sunk costs when they should be ignored. Kyle and Kehlani’s new song goes through the same tough decision because both feel like they’re being played with. Kyle and Kehlani both ask:

Girl, why are you playin’ with me?
I don’t got the time for that
Might need me a refund, haha
I’ma need that time back

Since neither can get their time back, if they are unhappy or anticipate being unhappy in the future, they should rationally move on from each other.

I like to use Old Domion’s song, Break Up With Him for the same lesson as well.

Chris Young — Beer or Gasoline

Tradeoffs are one topic you can use this video for. With only $3 to his name, Chris needs to decide between a gallon of gas or a 6-pack of beer!

Thanks to James Tierney for the clip and description. For more country videos with economics, check out EconGoneCountry!

Billy Joel — Allentown

I heard this one on the radio and forgot that I used it one semester online to talk about structural unemployment. This could also be a good song to play before class if you play music before you begin your lecture. I may be a bit more fortunate since I teach in Pennsylvania.

Tarzan — Strangers Like Me

Jane decides to help Tarzan increase is human capital by learning some new “human” skills. After learning these various skills, Tarzan should be much more productive.

Thanks for the clip recommendation  Courtney Conrad!

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