Market power and music may seem like strange bedfellows, but not in Prof. Carbonara's economics class.
Emanuela Carbonara taught intermediate microeconomics in the fall semester at SAIS Europe. Never one to rely on rote, Prof. Carbonara turned to music to help explain a fundamental concept.
In the "market power song contest", students were challenged to use the lyrics of pop songs to explain the ability of a firm to profitably raise the market price of a good or service over marginal cost.
As Prof. Carbonara put it in her directions to the class, find a song that captures someone who can "fix the price of a good, exclude others from a market, create market niches."
Students identified a bevy of songs whose lyrics touched on aspects of market power, which monopolies and oligopolies can leverage to raise prices without losing customers.
Morgan Graham won the contest by selecting an R&B song that was released in 2003 and offering this explanation of its connection to market power:
Can you guess which song Morgan chose?
Send in your answer via a comment to this post or with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first reader with the right answer will receive a Bologna Center tee shirt -- and Prof. Carbonara's autograph.