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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Who run the economy? Girls.

How ‘Barbie,’ Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are boosting the economy
Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour has grossed over a billion dollars in North American ticket sales alone. (Paulo V/Wikimedia Commons)

There’s a blonde woman in a pink cowboy outfit sitting on the curb, sobbing into her hands. She picks up her head, her hands gesturing as she speaks to a camera she doesn’t know is there. “She thinks I’m a fascist?” she weeps. “I don’t control the railways or the flow of commerce!”

The woman in question is Barbie, the titular character of Greta Gerwig’s smash hit, “Barbie.” And while she hasn’t taken up the role of train conductor anytime recently, her influence on the flow of commerce is a whole other story.

As the third quarter of the U.S. economy’s fiscal year comes to a close, economists are pointing to three very specific sources for the bulk of the estimated 1.9 percentage point boost, according to research by Morgan Stanley. The sources in question? “Barbie,” Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.

Swift set unprecedented records with the announcement of The Eras Tour, her three-hour-long concert that featured a setlist made up of music spanning her more than 15-year-long career. While Swift has since announced worldwide legs of the tour, CNN Business reported that the North American tour brought in over $2 million in ticket sales alone.

That doesn’t even begin to take into account what some news organizations have been referring to as ‘Swiftonomics,’ which refers to the huge economic booms regions across the country have encountered when The Eras Tour rolls into town. A report from the Common Sense Institute estimated that Swift’s two Denver dates would contribute $140 million to Colorado’s GDP, with the expenses coming in from tickets, travel, merchandise, lodging and food.

In a similar fashion, Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour has also brought a massive boost to local economies. According to The New York Times, the average Beyoncé fan spent $1,800 to attend the concert, a price tag that generally includes tickets, travel, lodging, food, merchandise and an outfit. 

In the same Times report, Tara Lewis, who analyzes Yelp data around the local ‘Beyoncé bump,’ found that the tour increased not only local revenues, but interest in minority-owned businesses as well. In Philadelphia, New York City and Chicago, the search for businesses ranging from beauty and spas to food and restaurants that were Black, women or LGBTQ+-owned increased anywhere from 2% to 194% during a six-day time period. 

The third quarter of the U.S. fiscal year ranges from July to September, which placed its start right around the time “Barbie” premiered in theaters across the country. Since its nationwide release on July 21, the film has since become the first movie directed by a woman to gross a billion dollars and the highest-grossing global release for Warner Bros., beating out “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Not only was the behind-the-camera team made up of mostly women, but the people buying the tickets and sitting in the theater seats were women as well. In an article by NPR, author Matthew Belloni found that 69% of ticket buyers for opening weekend were women, while the number ticked up to 71% the second week.

So when the third quarter comes to a close and economists are posting their findings about the unexpected fiscal boost this summer, remember where the bulk of the money came from. 

A hot girl summer, indeed.

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Zoe Leone
Zoe Leone, Arts & Life Editor

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