Thursday, April 30, 2015

Prom and Econ !!

Mikayla Boehm

Mrs. Straub


Economics B1

Prom and Econ !!

As the Prom season approaches us more quickly than ever. More prom dresses are quickly being made and more nail appointments, hair appointments are quickly filling up, getting into a tailor to get your dress altered, buying corsages and boutonnieres, renting limousines to look glamorous arriving to prom. The average total cost of going to prom according to ABC News has risen to a whopping $1,139 an increase of about 5% from $1,078 in 2012.  In a recent random telephone survey out of 3,000 participants 1,025 had a child attending prom that is 34% of the survey.Prom_Infographic2.jpg
The amount me and my family spent on prom was about $700 including alterations for my dress, $100 for my manicure and pedicure, $ 25.00 for my hair,  $ 75.00 for just the prom ticket, $30.00 for jewelry and $68.00 for shoes which put my total cost for my prom to $998.00. So almost $ 1,000 for my one night of being able to go to prom. With the cost of my prom it lead me to lose other things that I couldn’t do for a while like shop with my friends, go to the movies. Due to the fact prom left a hole in my pocket. However there is many options on how to save money on prom or how to budget efficiently so you are able to look great but also save some money. You can always borrow someones dress they wore last year, or even rent a dress which saves you money. If you do this make sure your relative in size and height so the dress is comfy all night. Also you don’t need a limo. Last year my group and I didn’t take a limo and it saved us cash in our pocket plus it is efficient to take a car and be able to drive around after you leave prom. Instead of getting makeup done by someone save yourself some money and just do it with your friends plus its more fun to get ready with friends than by being alone. For pictures if you go on a dock make sure the dock can withstand a heavy weights.

"Perfect Prom on a Budget: 13 Ways to Spend Less, Still Shine - DailyFinance." Daily Finance. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

Prom Spending Climbs for a Second Straight Year, Nationwide Average $1,139." Practical Money Skills for Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

Valiente, Alexa. "Prom Costs Rise 5 Percent to National Average of $1,139."ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

"Photo before Prom Leaves Wisconsin Students Drenched." N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.

Economics within Lollapalooza

Valentina Asciutto
28 April 2015
Economics Within Lollapalooza
Showcasing several of music’s most notable artists across eight stages, Chicago’s Lollapalooza will return for its annual setup in Grant Park this upcoming summer. The 3 day festival attracts over 300,000 people from not only Chicago but all over the U.S. There is no age restriction to enter the grounds therefore Lollapalooza attracts teens as young as 16 and the older college students. Everyone comes for good entertainment, but most of all to see their favorite artists such as featured in this video for the the 2015 lineup consisting of Paul McCartney, A$AP Rocky, Metallica, and Sam Smith.
    Tickets for the festival are not incredibly high, but they aren’t your typical rave priced tickets either. The price of tickets generally rises with the approximate attendees per year and the date the ticket(s) is purchased. With that said, ticket prices tend to climb the closer the festival approaches. This is due to an increase in demand. More people want to witness their favorite artist play or listen to their favorite genre of music although, they may purchase tickets after the early birds have taken all the deals. According to Forbes, a three day pass, the most popular deal, for the 2014 Lollapalooza music festival was $395.25 on the secondary market. Furthermore it was reported that this was a 39.6% increase compared to 2013’s price of $283.05. Although ticket prices rose, the festival continued to sell out and therefore tickets became scarce.
Not only does an increase in the price of tickets not stop fans, but also their money to further spend while there is inevitable. Annually the revenue is increased for the city of Chicago, Grant Park, hotels, and businesses all in 3 days due to Lollapalooza. Don Welsh, president and chief executive officer of Choose Chicago, said in regards to the 2013 festival that, “...the organization estimates Lollapalooza’s economic impact on Chicago was $140 million.” By looking at the pie chart to the right it can clearly be deciphered that all the immense income the windy city takes in is due to the fans. With a little over half the people coming from elsewhere, the money generated goes forth to improve the festival for the upcoming years but to also invest in improvements. Rahm Emanuel stated that, “$2.7 million of 2013’s income went to the Chicago Park District for improvement projects.” In all, this will benefit the citizens of Chicago by creating better recreational programs and safer parks for children.
With Lollapalooza going into its 24th year since starting in 1991, an agreement signed back in 2012 will keep the festival in Grant Park through at least 2021. This new deal will require promoters and sponsors to pay millions in annual city and county amusement taxes and state liquor taxes. As mentioned before that ticket prices have rose, it can be concluded that it is due to this agreement. Although it bolsters government revenue, the deal ultimately has festivalgoers paying more for entrance. As mentioned in the Chicago Tribune by park spokesman Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, “Lollapalooza's continued presence in Grant Park would provide an approximately $1 billion revenue boost for the local economy over the next decade.” In the end, this is a big win for hotels, restaurants, the cultural community, and local parks that benefit from these new revenues.
"Festi-nomics: The Economic Impact of the Music Festival." Xo Karadise. 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.  

Kot, Greg. "Lollapalooza Deal Changed; Lollapalooza and City Restructure Deal." Tribunedigital-chicagotribune. 14 Mar. 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

Lawrence, Jesse. "Lollapalooza Tickets Up 39.6% For Three Day Passes From Last Year." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 30 July 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

"Lollapalooza Marks A Decade In Chicago." CBS Chicago. 30 July 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.
Richards, Dean, Charles Hayes, and Tonya Francisco. "Lollapalooza 2015 Lineup Features Paul McCartney, Sam Smith." WGNTV. 25 Mar. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

Back to Black: Vinyls and the Economy

Back to Black: Vinyls and the Economy
Throughout the decades ways to listen to music has changed. From LP’s and vinyls, to tapes and CD’s then to downloading music and now vinyls are making a sudden comeback in the music industry. In the 1990’s vinyls made their first revival, but why the second revival within the past couple years?

In today’s world we live in a digital age. Everything can be done with technology. Immersed in this digital age, we always look forward to the future to see what new innovation will be coming next. While some are looking forward to the future, some are visiting the past with vinyls.The first revival in the 1990’s was largely driven by dance music. Once the first revival ended sales went down again until about 2008. At this point 2 million records were being sold per year and continued to grow until 2011 when it hit 4 million sold per year. With these sales the music industry was bringing in only $125 million. Most sales were old classical records that were resales, therefore they were selling for a lot of money.

CD sales for the year of 2014 were down again, mostly due to online downloads, which left vinyl sales in the spotlight for music sales. Configuration shows that sales of vinyls grew by fifty- two percent in 2014 to 9.2 million copies, up from 6.1 million in 2013 (Caulfield). Along with those number, ninety- four albums sold about 10,000 vinyls. To compare numbers, in 2004, only 0.2 percent of all music was sold on vinyl. In 2014, 3.6 percent of music was being sold on vinyls. By looking at these numbers you can see vinyl sale has gone up, and it is still rising.

If sales keep rising, the economy will keep bringing in more money. As you can see in the first graph below, record sales are up from about one million in 1997 to six million in 2013. In correspondence to these numbers, the second graph shows how much money vinyls have made each year. Two years ago in 2013, selling vinyls made the music industry 218 million dollars. That was two years ago. By now the music industry probably brings in a lot more money selling vinyls than two years ago. If the vinyl stays, the music industry could bring in more money than they ever had in the past.

Caulfield, Keith. "Vinyl Album Sales Hit Historic High in 2014, Again."Billboard. N.p., 31 Dec. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.

"Unbound: Your Life, Your Voice, Your World." Unbound. N.p., 26 Apr. 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.

Safo, Nova. "Vinyl Record Sales Have Jumped to 6 Million." Vinyl Record Sales Have Jumped to 6 Million. N.p., 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.

"Back to Black." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 20 Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.

Prom Economics

Kelly Mitchell
28 April 2015

Prom Economics
Once again we have entered prom season. Junior and Seniors in high schools around the country are preparing for a night that they are told they will remember forever. What most people will not realize is how much money is actually shelled out for prom. Dresses, tuxes, shoes, prom tickets, jewelry, flowers, limos, the list seems endless. Most years the prices of these items seem to increase, but this year the people have actually spent an average of 6% less on prom related items.
This year it is estimated that the average family will spend a total of $919 on prom. Spending larger amounts of money on prom became popular after World War II and has continued to stick. Of course the prices of prom now are more expensive than prom was then but that’s mainly due to a change in consumer tastes. Sure kids to an extent sometimes attempt to outdo each other when it comes to prom but these days girls are leaning towards more expensive dresses and shoes, and the event is held at bigger more expensive places because it has become a new norm. This amount of money being spent is all considered to be a part of the experience. Prom goers have decided to make the trade off of money that they could be spending elsewhere or putting towards college tuition for one night of fun.
Not only do people spend money on items for the prom, they also spend money on promposals. A promposal is a play on the word proposal and can often times be a pretty pricey ordeal. According to an article on True New Jersey people will spend up to $300 on a promposal. This aspect of prom can be seen as elastic. Before the early 2000’s asking someone to prom in an extravagant way just wasn’t heard of and it simply does not take $300 to ask someone to prom. Some people speculate that these extravagant promposals are used as an attempt to gain internet stardom.
It’s inevitable that people will continue to go to prom and spend large amounts of money but there are ways to cut back on spending too. It’s possible to wear shoes that you already own, do your own hair, or even borrow accessories from friends. Prom does not have to become a one thousand dollar night.

Works Cited
Griffith, Janelle. "Prom 2015: Overall Spending Down, but Cost of Promposals on the Rise."True New Jersey. 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

Kasperkevic, Jana. "Prom Night Can Cost a Pretty Penny." The Guardian. 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Walt Disney World Vacation: A $99 Admission Ticket?

Evan Hicks
Mrs. Straub
A1 Economics
Walt Disney World Vacation: A $99 Admission Ticket?
It’s almost that time of year again. The weather will get hot, parents will surprise their kids with their dream vacation, and the sales at the famous theme park in Orlando, Florida will skyrocket. And with increasing attendance, Disney holds the power to increase the price per ticket as well, and never will hesitate to do so.
The price of Disney’s one-day admission ticket price recently rose to a whopping $99 a person. That’s a 200% percent increase in the past decade. A small amount of this could be attributed to inflation, but nowhere near enough to justify a double in price. There has been an increase in demand for tickets, but instead of using this as an opportunity to decrease their prices as a result, they decided to increase and boost sales even more.

Some economists are even claiming that Walt Disney World’s financial status mimics that of the U.S. economy. This video from illustrates this phenomenon:

With more and more families now traveling to the park, combined with an increase in ticket prices, it becomes clear that more and more people have the money to choose luxuries in addition to their necessities and pay for such a large vacation. This shows that the economy is doing relatively well.
As of right now, attendance continues to increase. Regardless of an increase in ticket price, consumers still continue to pay for a day of fun and a picture with the mouse himself. This makes Walt Disney World tickets relatively inelastic products. At $99, tickets are also strategically placed almost at $100, yet still in the double digits as it creates a minor illusion for consumers. Some may react quite differently to a triple digit price than a double digit. With an increase in demand, park-goers often find that there is a shortage of the service: Long lines at rides. There simply isn’t enough in the Disney parks to keep everyone constantly occupied with that massive a number of guests, so many often have to wait several hours before riding a ride. Regardless of the fact that it is an incredibly iconic theme park, if prices were to increase by significant amounts, it is quite possible that attendance could begin to drop.

Another factor that could influence Disney Park attendance is the fact that it is not far location-wise from Universal Studios, a strong competitor theme park. The two are in monopolistic competition with one another, as they both serve the same general purpose as a theme park and must compete for business. Universal Studios currently sells the lower ticket price between the two competitors at $92 a day. There are also numerous other vacation options that families have as substitutes and choose to take advantage of that are significantly lower in cost. However, whether it be that consumers feel that they get more bang for their buck at Disney or that they have a strong emotional attachment to Disney from childhood, the magical southern-Florida theme park still continues to rake in the largest crowds and likely will continue to in the generations to come.

Works Cited
"The Disney World Indicator of U.S. Consumer Health." Bloomberg, 6 Jan. 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2015. <>.
Bachman, Justin. "Disney's Magic Kingdom Nears $100 Tickets, and the Crowds Keep Coming." Bloomberg, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2015. <>.
Lewitinn, Lawrence. "Why Rising Prices at Disney World Could Be Good for You." Yahoo Finance. Yahoo, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2015. <>.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Meg Kyte
20 April 2015

Acquiring Users To Sell Products On Instagram
Instagram is arguably one of the top social medias and has grown even more so in the last few years since its release. According to statistics from August 2012, which was two years after the launch of the app, there was 80 billion users and four billion images had been shared (Laurent).  If you think these numbers are insane, they just keep growing as Instagram’s popularity continues to soar among teenagers and even business people hoping to further promote themselves as well as their product or service such as celebrity makeup or modeling, just as examples.  As you can see below, compared to the other popular social medias Twitter and Facebook, Instagram has begun to increase pretty rapidly while the other two actually decrease at an equal or even quicker pace.  The consumer tastes have evolved over the years and are directing their attention to the next big thing, which in this case may be Instagram.

The app itself is worth a large sum of money and the value increases while the public’s demand for Instagram and usage also spikes up.  At first it wasn’t worth the extensive amount it is now, but when it was first purchased by Facebook it had,”... been acquired by Facebook for more than $730m” (Laurent).  The revenue has been increasing, as I mentioned, and the future predictions are highly favorable for the survival of Instagram as a majorly used social media in the United States.  Business analysts believe Instagram will continue to soar in the future and its revenue  has been expected to hit $5.8 billion by 2020 (Fiegerman).
Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 16.58.23
Lately, companies have been having celebrities endorse their products, especially through Instagram, which also shows the increasing popularity of the app. This new revelation has changed things tremendously, not only is this app for sharing personal information and “fun”, but it’s a way to promote, inform and market towards the audience that seems to still be increasing and also interested in what Instagram has to provide.  There has most likely been this increased demand for advertisements because of surge of people using instagram and most of these users are young people that will most likely spend the money on the products that are being endorsed by their favorite celebrities and even internet stars.
Not only can normal “celebrities” endorse products, but the development of internet celebrities has influenced how people can make money off Instagram. “New marketing agencies such as the Mobile Media Lab are also popping up to become the go-betweens that connect popular picture snappers with large companies willing to pay for their endorsement... Mobile Media Lab is able to offer an accurate look at just how much money is changing hands these days. They say that represented Instagram users who have more than 100,000 followers can earn $700 to $900 per photo”(Zhang).  People can make a large profit by advertising and doing normal activities, by utilizing the Instagram app.
Individuals don’t even have to promote a product, if they make an account that people enjoy and look at, they can be bringing in a huge profit and may even become their job!  “On average an Instagrammer that’s got a good 100,000 followers is consistently putting up great photos and their audience really likes what they’re doing can be making between $5,000 and $10,000 a month”(Ellis-Peterson). This would translate to these people potentially “making upwards of $70,000 or even $100,000 a year just on Instagram”(Ellis-Peterson).
It’s inevitable that consumer’s attention will shift onto some improved and newer social media in the future, because this always happens, since we live in a constantly evolving and improving society.  As for now, Instagram is at the top for now and may continue to be for quite a few years even, in the future.
Works Cited

Ellis-Peterson, Hannah. "Instagram Users Turn Flash into Cash, as Companies Eye New Advertising Market." The Guardian. The Guardian, 27 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Laurent, Olivier. "The New Economics of Photojournalism: The Rise of Instagram." British Journal of Photography. 3 Sep. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Smith, Craig. "130 Amazing Instagram Statistics (April 2015)." DMR. DMR, 6 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

Zhang, Michael. "Top Instagram Users Making Thousands Per Photo by Promoting Products." PetaPixel. PetaPixel, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

Gas Prices in Warmer Months

Nicole Burian
Mr. Reuter
21 April 2015
Gas Prices in Warmer Months
As summer rapidly approaches, many begin to plan where they want to travel. However, when gas prices increase, some people might turn away from driving as much as they originally wanted to. While driving long distances away may be an enjoyable way to spend the summer, at the same time, it could end up costing more than expected.
The price of gas generally rises with the temperature. With that said, gas prices tend to climb during the summer months. This is due to the increased demand. More people want to drive because they have more free time or they prefer the warmer weather. Due to this change in quantity demanded, the gas prices increase.  
Another reason the gas prices increase is due to the different gas blends used in the summer and winter. Basically, the winter fuel needs to evaporate at lower temperatures or the car will not function properly. Similarly, the summer fuel evaporates at higher temperatures. The Clean Air Act requires this difference in gas. Different cities have different temperatures, so it is more expensive to produce the gas for each area. The temperature at which the fuel evaporates is measured by the Reid Vapor Pressure, or simply the RVP.  A higher RVP equals a higher evaporation temperature. The summer gas blend uses about 1.7% more energy than the winter gas blend and does not have the same mileage, which causes it to be more expensive. Furthermore, it costs money to switch to the other fuel as the weather changes, and it also costs money to store the fuel for the opposite season, which also adds to the overall price per gallon.
It is important to evaluate the opportunity costs while considering where to travel. Even though it may be fun to drive around when the weather is warm, it will end up costing a lot of money. If the gas prices are problematic, then consider going to another place that is closer to eliminate the price issue, or wait to travel until the trip can be afforded. However, to many, gas is an inelastic good, so no matter how much the price changes, they still purchase it to drive their cars. This causes them to spend more money during the summer.
Although it can be exciting to drive long distances during the warm summer months, it is important to remember the impact that gas prices can have on one’s wallet. Before planning that long-awaited vacation, remember to carefully consider what the gas prices will look like when you want to travel before spending more than originally anticipated.

Works Cited
Gustafson, Cole. "New Energy Economics: Why Do Gas Prices Rise in Summer?" Ag News from NDSU. Ed. Rich Mattern. N.p., n.d. Web. 2015.
Rawlins, John. "Gas Prices on the Rise, but Why?" 6abc Philadelphia. ABC, n.d. Web. 2015.
Vaughan, Patty. "Gas Prices to Remain below $3 for Nation, Saving $97 Billion during 2015." Total Landscape Care. Randall-Reilly, 7 Jan. 2015. Web. 2015.

"What Is the Difference between Summer- and Winter-Blend Gasoline?" AAA NewsRoom. AAA, n.d. Web. 2015.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Doe, Ray, Me

Do, Ray, Me
Jessica Derks
Mrs. Straub
April 21, 2015
Doe, Ray, Me  

Doe, a deer, a female deer        
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long long way to run

When reading these lyrics I’m sure one can think of the catchy tune that captured the hearts of millions and is still so widely known today. This famous song is from one of the most popular musicals of all time, The Sound of Music. The story takes place in Austria in 1930 with a young woman Maria, who becomes the governess of seven mischievous Von Trapp children. Her kindness, joy and understanding is infectious and the children are drawn to her loving nature. Georg Von Trapp, father of the children and navy captain, also notices the much needed joy that enters the family and later falls in love with the simple governess. The romance that forms is then set aside, as Germany begins to take over Austria and the captain is faced with hard decisions that could change his family’s life forever.
Just this March the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music and one may begin to ask what this has to do with economics? This classic film swept the nation with its lively and family orientated story. Millions of Americans are inspired by this heartwarming story and we continue to see the great impact it had within the economy. Wikipedia says, “the film was released in 1965 and became the number one box office movie after 4 weeks and then by November of 1966 it was the highest grossing film of all time.” The director, Robert Wise, took a huge risk and the trade off ended up being more than anyone was expecting. states that, “The estimated budget was $8,200,000 to make the movie but the film sold 283.3 million admissions worldwide and earned the total worldwide gross of $286,214,076.”  After adjusting for inflation, this is equivalent to $2.336 billion in 2014, quite a blockbuster movie. The outcome was better than even what actress Julie Andrews (played the character of Maria)  was expecting. According to Julie Andrew states, “I don't think I could have possibly guessed, ever, that it was going to be iconic as it has become. If anyone had told me that 50 years after the fact I'd be still speaking to you about it and it's magic, I could not have anticipated that or believed it. But I think once it had opened and become a success I realized that we had a very good thing in that movie, that it was a good movie.”  At the time , she was undiscovered and the TV world hadn't yet seen her. Robert Wise had to decide to either go  with popular movie stars of the time or find unknowns that the world wasn't familiar with. This opportunity cost raised a big decision for Robert Wise. He could simply gain more attraction through the popular actresses of the time or risk bringing newcomers to the big screen. Fortunately, he chose the young 28 year old, Julie Andrews.  She is now known for her astonishing voice and abilities to act. Little did Julie know, that her life would change from being Maria . In later years the film got five Academy Awards, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Motion Picture, and Best Actress and it is the 5th highest grossing film of all time. The revenue that the movie industry gained from this movie truly helped the economy and still does today, not only did the American economy benefit, but Austria’s economy did as well. According to 20/20 ABC, “about 6.5 million tourists a year tour Salzberg, Austria to see where the movie was filmed and to see where the actually Van Trapp family lived.” This film has become a classic that generations have come to know and love. The music and songs are brilliantly done and continue to resound throughout the world. This film continues to teach all generations that it’s never too late to walk out the gates and find ones dreams, to go over that mountain and not be afraid of what the future will hold.

Strecker, Erin. “Julie Andrews Talks Phone Calls with Lady Gaga and ‘Sound of Music’ Memories.” Billboard, 2015. Web. 16 April 2015.

“The Sound of Music.” The Numbers. Nash Information Services, 1997-2014. Web. 20 April 2015.  

“The Sound of Music.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 2015. Web. 16 April 2015.  

The Untold Story of the Sound of Music. David Sloan. Diane Sawyer, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. ABC Television Network. 2015. Film.

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