July 12, 2018
Economics has often been described as "the dismal science," but as Matthew Rousu, dean of Susquehanna University's Sigmund Weis School of Business, proves in his debut book, Broadway and Economics, Broadway musicals are an excellent and fun tool to teach us about economic concepts.
"Musicals tell engaging stories through song and many are rich with economic concepts," Rousu said.
Broadway and Economics 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. Whether showing how Hamilton can illustrate concepts of central banking, how "Let It Go" from Frozen can explain a firm's production decisions, or how "Stars" from Les Miserables provides a perfect example of inelastic demand, Rousu 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 anyone studying an introductory economics course as well as theatre aficionados.
Rousu is a prolific researcher and frequently contributes to or is quoted by news outlets, including USA Today, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Money and Forbes.
Rousu's book comes three years after he launched his website, Broadway Economics, which lists songs from various Broadway musicals and pairs them with videos and an explanation of the economics principles they illustrate.
Broadway and Economics is published by Routledge and is part of their Economics and Popular Culture series. It is available for purchase now.