Music For Econ Guest DJ Set

Dr. Brian O'Roark is an Economics professor at Robert Morris University and contributor to Music For Econ.  Dr. O'Roark joined Joey Spehar on The Morning Mix to play a set of songs with economic lessons included.

Roark’s project Music For Econ, is designed to make understanding the subject of economics as easy as listening to music. Simply understanding what artists are talking about, Roark says, is a way of understanding subjects like economics. “The song that most exemplifies what we’re dealing with is a song by Weird Al Yankovic called “Ebay.” It’s a parody of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys, and it’s Weird Al singing about how markets work in just a really entertaining Weird Al kinda way.”

Another song, Day Job by Gin Blossoms, picked by Roark teaches us about the issue of unemployment and what we give up and receive as the result of the jobs we choose to have. It talks about one of the essential economic ideas of scarcity and time, he says — “The things that just sorta become unattainable once you’re working and you have to give up valuable free time.”

Spehar says one of the most honest and direct musical genres out there is country. From an economical perspective, the song “One Piece At A Time” is about Cash stealing from his employer to build a car that he has earned, Roark says. “We learn a lot about production in this song and how producing a car one piece at a time isn’t necessarily going to give you the outcome that you had hoped.”

The project’s site in the link above contains videos and music along with “the economic interpretation” of the songs and the lyrics currently on the website, Roark says.

Dr. O'Roark's Guest DJ Set:

Weird Al Yankovic - Ebay
Gin Blossoms - Day Job
Johnny Cash - One Piece At A Time