"Irreplacable" by Beyonce
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
This flash animation for the song "Irreplaceable" demonstrates how the availability of substitutes affects the price elasticity of demand. Beyonce notes that her current boyfriend is not "irreplaceable," meaning that her demand for him is elastic. The study of elasticity is often dry and boring and very mechanical due to the the large number of calculations involved. Using the flash animation provides a nice alternative for visual learners.
- To illustrate the most important determinant of the price elasticity of demand (availability of substitutes)
- To demonstrate how the price elasticity of demand affects the shape of the demand curve
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
If you have not registered, you must to get a password to have access to the library of animations. Scan down and click on the animation for "Irreplaceable."
Teaching Notes and Tips
Music for Economics contains copyrighted material. You need to obtain an ID and PW from the site creators to access the musical animations in the database.It is important to drive home the idea that price elasticity is determined by the alternatives available to the consumer. An ability to switch boyfriends, as discussed in this song, means that the seller will be unable to raise his price without losing his buyer. Therefore, Beyonce's boyfriend cannot treat her poorly (raise the price of being his girlfriend) without risking her exit from the relationship.
- insulin and aspirin
- Hershey's chocolate and chocolate
- Coca Cola and water
Ask students to create their own examples of goods that have many substitutes and those that have few substitutes. Use those examples in a quiz or on a test.