The Inclusive Economist: Celebrating Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Through Pop Culture

Wayne Geerling
Monash University
Florencia Gabriele
Emmanuel College
G. Dirk Mateer
University of Texas
Jadrian Wooten
Penn State University

This website was created to facilitate the poster session from the
2021 Meeting of the Allied Social Science Association. You can download the original poster as well.

We showcase how to promote greater inclusion in the economics classroom through the use of culturally and linguistically diverse pop culture. Examples come from a database of foreign-language pop culture clips and include commercials, film, internet, music, and TV. These resources are available as a common resource to any interested instructor.

While the focus is on economics education, the idea of promoting inclusivity through foreign-language resources is quite generic and can easily be applied to other disciplines. We have included links so that you can interact with the poster and visit the video clips shown.


Efforts have been made by the American Economic Association to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the field. When it comes to inclusivity of students, there are some direct areas of focus for faculty:

  • Make sure that culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students are recognized
  • Many students have an ESL background
  • Broaden the curriculum to focus on international applications

Classrooms and workforces diversity benefit from positive externalities. There has been increased attention to diversity in the classroom, both for faculty and students. Faculty can take a more proactive approach to fostering diversity and inclusivity.

  • Diversify the content being taught in the classroom
  • Reconsider pedagogy and assessment techniques
  • Improve student interactions and classroom management

Check out the work by Al-Bahrani (2020) and Bayer & Rouse (2016). Div.E.Q. has a lot of great resources as well in addition to The Economics Instructor’s Toolbox and the Economics Media Library.


The number of resources available for faculty to use in the classroom continues to grow and incorporate new pop culture every couple of years. The next area of focus should be on increasing the number of resources in a language other than English. Websites currently exist for the following shows pop culture sources:

A wide range of pop culture sources, including music videos, television shows and film can be found on Economics Media Library and Dirk’s Media Library.


Click the images to go to see the videos on Critical Commons!

Country: Denmark
This campaign to raise fertility rates in Denmark is a wonderful example of the role of supply and demand at the macro level.

Country: Argentina
Burger King came up with an innovative way to differentiate their Whopper burger while virtue signalling at the same time.

Country: Belgium
Some things in life don’t have real substitutes, but you may realize that when it’s too late.

Country: Egypt
“Old MacDonald Had a Farm” is reworked to advertise the Egyptian national football team members in an unusual location due to barriers to entry and a monopoly market.


Music4Econ videos provide economic commentary to popular music videos. Click the images to go to see the videos on Critical Commons!

Country: South Korea
Artist: BTS
Song: “Seesaw
Just like riding a seesaw, in the repeated Battle of the sexes game, two players must coordinate on who is going up or down.

Country: Germany
Artist: Joris
Song: “Heart Over Hands”
Should our protagonist stay with his girlfriend (follow his heart) or leave (follow his head)?

Country: France
Artist: IAM
Song: “Born Under the Same Star”
In this song, French hip-hop artist “IAM” wonder why some people are cursed to a life of poverty in a supposedly rich country.

Country: Indonesia
Artist: Tulus
Song: “Shoes”
This song uses the analogy of a pair of shoes to tell the story of a couple in love, but who can’t be together.


Click the images to go to see the videos on Critical Commons!

Country: Japan
Real estate is expensive in Tokyo and many people live just outside the city. They commute by train, but packed like sardines.

Country: Thailand
Markets exist in many exotic locations, including in the middle of train tracks.


Music streaming has changed the way people around the world listen to music. Music used to be largely consumed by only those in the country, but streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music allow listeners to access nearly the entire catalog of worldwide music. Those companies have broken the barrier that kept music genres isolated from each other. The different genres of music that people listen to are rapidly converging and will likely look more homogenous than it does today with more music produced by international stars (Krueger 2019).

Check out the paper on SSRN.


  1. Al-Bahrani, A. (2020). Classroom Management and Student Interaction Interventions: Fostering Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Undergraduate Economics. SSRN Working Paper #3644803.
  2. Bayer, A. and Rouse, C. (2016). b. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30(4): 221-242.
  3. Krueger, A. (2019). Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour of What the Music Industry Can Teach Us about Economics and Life. New York: Currency Books.

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