Michelle Obama Effect On The Fashion Industry Sample Paper

Summary

The above article is about the effect that Michelle Obama has had on the fashion industry. The effect relates to the demand for the clothes she wears and the prices of stock for companies that manufacture and sell her favorite fashion items. Between November 2008 and December 2009, Michelle Obama made 189 public appearances across America and Europe (Yermack). In this period she created a $ 2.7 billion return for companies that sell her favorite fashion (Yermack). This return is considered to be abnormal since it is not caused by market variations that prevail under normal circumstances (Yermack). According to the article, the Michelle Obama effect can be explained as redistribution of value (Yermack). This means that the stock for companies selling the fashion she likes gains value while those selling the fashion she does not like lose value (Yermack). The companies associated with her favorite fashion gained up to 2.3% in stock value while those that do not sell her best fashion lost about 0.4 of their value (Yermack).

The Obama effect was found to be consistent over time (Yermack). The effect she has had in the fashion industry is greater than those attributed to celebrities. In 18 appearances, she created a return of 2.3% as compared to 0.5% which is the average return associated with celebrities (Yermack). When she visited Europe, the stock for companies dealing in her favorite fashion items had a gain of 16.3%. This was much greater than the S+P 500’s that gained only 6.1% in the same time frame (Yermack). The Obama effect has been driven by internet technology that facilitates the quick sharing of information on fashion as well as the instant purchase of new fashion items (Yermack).

Explanation

The Michelle Obama effect destabilized the equilibrium for the stock and fashion market, especially in the short term. This is because it directly influences the market forces such as demand and supply. The changes in the market are as follows. To begin with, it is important to analyze the effect on the demand for the stock associated with Michelle’s wardrobe. Demand refers to the total amount of goods and services that customers are willing and are able to buy in a given market (Lehman and Png). According to the above article, a dress is usually declared a new fashion as soon as Michelle is seen wearing it. This means that more women will immediately express their willingness to buy the new fashion that is associated with Michelle. Since they are determined to be fashionable, the women will find means of raising the required funds to buy the dress in fashion. This means that they will be able to buy the dress at the prevailing prices.

The stock for the companies associated with the new fashion items also becomes more attractive to investors. The investors will thus express their willingness to purchase such stock and also raise the needed funds to acquire the stocks. The increase in demand explains the rise in the prices of the stocks (Lehman and Png). In the short term, the market will experience an increase in demand for the stock and the new fashion items (Lehman and Png). The change in demand is illustrated in figure 1.

Supply is the second aspect of the market that will be affected by the Michelle Obama effect. Supply refers to the number of goods and services that sellers are willing and are able to offer in the market (Lehman and Png). In this case, supply will be analyzed in the short term as well as in the long term. In the short term, the supply will remain static or will not change immediately, especially in the fashion market. This is attributed to two main factors. First, the manufacturers are not in a position to predict whether the new fashion items will become Michelle’s favorite or not. This means that the quantities of the new fashion products will initially be informed by the general demand level. The manufacturers thus will not take into consideration the high demand associated with Obama’s effect in the short term. Secondly, the effect comes as a surprise demand to the manufacturers. This means that they are not prepared to expand their production capacities to accommodate the sharp increase in demand for their products. Thus, in the short term, the supply will be less than the demand and this leads to higher prices (Lehman and Png).

In the long term, the manufacturers are able to adjust their production capacities in response to the high demand for their products (Lehman and Png). This is because they have enough time to acquire the necessary capital to enable them to increase their production (Lehman and Png). This can be in the form of short-term loans from commercial banks or additional staff to assist with the various aspects of production. The retailers on the other hand will have enough time to source the new fashion items and make them available to the customers at their shops (Lehman and Png). They can also use this time to acquire additional capital through credit facilities to increase the stock of the new fashion items. Thus, in the long term, the supply can match or even exceed the demand. The change in supply is illustrated in figure 2.

The market operates at an optimal level when it is in equilibrium (Lehman and Png). Market equilibrium refers to the situation in which demand for particular goods or services in the market is equal to their supply (Lehman and Png). In this case, the market will be in equilibrium when the demand for the stock and the new fashion items is equal to their supply. In the short term, the demand for the new fashion items and stock will be more than their supply in the market. The supply for the new fashion items, in particular, will be less than their demand due to limitation in output as discussed above. The stock on the other hand will be in short supply since all investors find them attractive and are thus not willing to sell them. In the long term, the manufacturers are able to adjust their production in response to the new demand for their products. The investors will also sell their stocks to fulfill their liquidity needs. Consequently, the supply will be adjusted to match the demand (Lehman and Png).

However, adjusting the supply to match the demand does not automatically lead to market equilibrium. This is because the demand is never static and keeps changing (Lehman and Png). In most cases, especially in the fashion industry, the demand tends to decline in the long term. This is due to consumer behavior associated with a change in taste and preferences (Lehman and Png). In the context of the fashion industry, the demand for new fashion items might reduce if the retailers increase the prices of the products beyond consumers’ expectations. This happens mainly in the short term (Lehman and Png). In the long term, the supply will be increased. However, it might fail to match the demand which usually reduces in the long term as the fashion loses its value.

From the above analysis of supply and demand; it is apparent that market equilibrium cannot occur either in the short-term or in the long term. The supply and demand forces will continue to interact in the market until they match or become equal (Lehman and Png). The point at which the demand for the new fashion items and stock matches their supply forms the market equilibrium (Lehman and Png). This is illustrated in figure 3. The market equilibrium is never static and will continue to change with the changes in the demand and supply of products.

Changes in the Demand

Figure 1 below shows the demand curve for the fashion items. Price is on the vertical axis while the horizontal axis is for quantity.

Causes

The change in demand is caused by the Michelle Obama effect. As more women learn about the new fashion, they will express their willingness to buy them. This leads to an increase in demand.

Effect

The level of demand before the Michelle Obama effect is reflected by the lower demand curve (D 1). However, the effect causes an increase in demand for the new fashion items. Thus, the demand curve shifts upward to the right to reflect the new demand level. The new demand curve will thus be D 2. The figure also shows that greater quantities are demanded at lower prices.

The demand curve for the fashion items
Figure 1

Change in supply

The supply curve for fashion items
Figure 2

Figure 2 shows the supply curve for fashion items. Price is on the vertical axis while quantity is on the horizontal axis.

Cause

The change in supply is caused by the increase in the demand for the new fashion items. The increase in demand is caused by the Michelle Obama effect as discussed above. Thus, in response to the high demand, the supply also increases. This means that the manufacturers will produce more quantities of the new fashion items so that all customers are able to find and purchase the items. The increase in supply is illustrated by the shift of the supply curve from S1 to S2.

Effects

In the short term, the companies that manufacture the new fashion items cannot increase their output in response to the high demand. Thus, the lower supply curve (S1) will reflect the level of supply in the short term. However, in the long term, the companies are able to acquire more capital and adjust their production in response to the high demand. As the supply of the new fashion items increases, the supply curve shifts upward to the left. Thus, the level of supply in the long term is reflected by the upper supply curve (S2).

Market equilibrium

Tthe market equilibrium
Figure 3

Figure 3 above shows the market equilibrium. The vertical axis shows the price while the vertical axis is for quantity.

Causes

The figure shows the relationship between demand and supply. The changes in demand are caused by the customers’ willingness to buy more quantities of the items. The Michelle Obama effect is responsible for the increase in demand. The increase in demand causes the demand curve to shift from D1 to D2 as shown in figure 1. When the demand rises, the supply of the fashion items must be increased so that all customers are able to find and purchase the items. This then causes a change in the supply curve. To illustrate the change in supply, the supply curve will shift from S1 to S2 as shown in figure 2. The supply curve and the demand curve will continue to shift until the quantities supplied by the sellers are equal to those demanded by the buyers.

Effects

When the quantities supplied are equal to the quantities demanded, then the market is said to be in equilibrium. The equilibrium is represented by the point at which the demand curve intersects the supply curve as shown above. In figure 3, the equilibrium is at the point marked d. At the point of equilibrium, the optimal price level will be P2 while the optimal level of supply will be Q 2. This is the optimal level at which the market should operate.

Bibliography

Lehman, Dale and Ivan Png. Managerial economics. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007.Print.

Yermack, David, “The Michelle Obama effect.” Harvard Business Review: 2010.Web.

Themes And Styles In Anne Bradstreet’s Poems

Introduction

The three poems by Anne Bradstreet, namely: In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory, To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq. Who deceased, July 31, and of his age 71, and Contemplations have a number of elements in common. On the same note, there are other aspects that set these poems apart. Themes that are discussed in these poems as well as the styles that are used in the delivery of the message regarding these themes all have these features of differences and similarities as far as these three poems are concerned. This essay will describe and compare the themes in these three poems followed by a description and comparison of stylistic devices.

Themes

There are themes that are common to some of the poems as well as those that are common to all the three poems. There are also themes that are unique to each poem.

In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory

The major themes in this poem are as follows:

Death

The theme of death or loss of life is a dominant one in this poem. In a clear and mainly direct language, Anne informs us that the Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth is dead. In line twelve of the first stanza, Anne states that, “mine bleating stands before thy royal Herse” meaning that the persona in the poem is standing close to the dead body of the queen. The remainder of the poem is dedicated to the achievements made by the Queen while she was in power. It is evident that she achieved much, and for this reason, the persona is thrilled for the reign of the queen but saddened by her death.

The Glory of heaven and the value of good actions on earth

This is a very important theme in this poem in that it provides the consoling grace for the loss of the queen through death. The grief created by the loss of a valuable person, the Queen, is reduced by the fact that Queen Elizabeth is still comfortable and in a high position in the world above. In line 104 to line 107, Anne states that, “ But happiness lyes in a higher sphere, Then wonder not Eliza moves not here. Full fraught with honour, riches and with dayes She set, she set, like Titan in his rayes. No more shall rise or set so glorious sun.” These lines point out the significance of the world above where the dead Queen will still be happy. The explanation for this happiness is that she will be paid for her good actions while she was alive on earth.

Themes

In To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq. Who deceased, July 31, and of his age 71.

Death

In this poem, the father to the voice in the poem is dead. This poem is a celebration of his life. All that he did while he was alive is recounted by the persona in a nostalgic way showing how lonely the persona feels for losing the father through death.

The Glorious Hereafter and the value of good deeds

This is also a major theme in this poem in that the persona brings out the hope that is present regarding the final destination of the dead father. He will be with angels in heaven where there will be maximum comfort. This presents a cathartic effect on the pressure and sadness felt by the loss. It is god to know that albeit he is dead, he has gone to a place where he will be comfortable and happy. The main reason as to why there is hope for entry to this blissful kingdom are the good deeds the father engaged in while he was alive.

Themes in Contemplations

The power of the sun

Anne points out the marvelous actions of the sun. She makes it clear that at some point it was worshipped as a deity due to its power. Its ability to support life is unrivaled and the seasons depend on it.

The value of good deeds

This is a theme that is prominent towards the end of the poem. Anne points out that what will determine the time one is remembered is not the gold or any other expensive possession, but having his or her name attributed to good deeds and therefore gaining entry to the heavenly kingdom.

Comparison of themes in the three poems

The theme of death is present in two of the three poems. These are In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory and To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq. Who deceased, July 31, and of his age 71. The theme of good deeds and the hereafter appears in all the three poems as shown in the discussion above. The theme of the powers of the sun is only in the poem entitled contemplations.

Styles

Anne has made use of a number of styles that are present in all the three poems. These are rhetorical questions and rhyme.

Rhetorical questions

Rhetorical questions do not need answers due to their straight forward nature. They are normally used for emphasis. In To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq. Who deceased, July 31, and of his age 71, the persona asks who has more reason to boast than “I”, referring to the persona. Rhetorical questions are also present in contemplations whereby the persona asks how excellent it’s for the sun that lives high above, which can easily be mistaken for heaven. The other poem, In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory, is also full of rhetorical questions whereby the persona uses them to emphasize the good deeds done by the Queen who is now dead.

Rhyme

The rhyme that is employed in both the three poems gives the poems musicality. The first six lines of In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory have the rhyme scheme of aa, bb, cc. The first six lines of To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq. Who deceased, July 31, and of his age 71 have the rhyme scheme aa, bb, cc and the first five lines of Contemplation have the rhyme scheme a b a b c. Thus the two poems, In Honor of That High and Mighty Princess Queen Elizabeth of Happy Memory and To the Memory of My Dear and Ever Honored Father Thomas Dudley Esq. Who deceased, July 31, and of his age 71 have a higher degree of resemblance in the rhyme scheme while Contemplations has a slightly different rhyme scheme. But the most important element is that both these poems make use of rhyme.

In conclusion, the theme of death is prominent in two of the poems while the theme of good deeds appears in all the three poems. Rhyme and rhetorical questions as styles are present in all the three poems.

Comparative History Of The Red Sea Trans-Saharan And Indian Ocean Slave Trades

Introduction

Like most historians would put it, slave trade in Africa is linked to much of the external forces in western and European nations. The trends in development of slave trade provide the best foresight for understanding the political and socio-economic history of Africa. From an African view point, this essay presents a comparative history of slave trades across the Red Sea, Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean. It explores the strategic positioning of the traders tools and the number of people captures and transported to foreign countries as slaves.

Red Sea slave trade

Red sea slave trade involve movement of slaves across the red sea to Asia territories mainly Arabia and the Middle East. It mainly involved Arabs as the primary merchants. In the period that spanned four last decades of the 15th century, the merchants took slaves from East Africa, North Africa and some parts of Europe such as South Italy and Iberia. This slave trade made no discrimination on the people taken for the trade as the market accepted people from any age, ethnicity, color or even creed. The most common victims of slave trade were mainly people from West African states.

Trans-Saharan slave trade

The Trans-Saharan Slave trade flourished in the 16th century as a result of the growth of European slave trade across the Atlantic. This was mainly influenced by weak Islamic laws that collapsed in some parts of the continent. Trans-Saharan slave trade was mainly practiced by individual com unities in West African states. The communities had a market share representative of their abilities to deliver slaves to the European traders. This was also one of the most conclusive forms of slave trade as it involved exchange of finished goods and available services that later on proceeded with cash business faster than both Indian Ocean and Red Sea slave trades.

Indian Ocean slave trade

Indian Ocean slave trade involved the trading of people across Indian Ocean. In this pattern of slave trade, people traded were taken from east Africa and the destination markets ended in Asia where the business had flourished from cheap slaves found in East Africa. Most of the victims of this slave trade were people abducted from their communities often with minimal knowledge of their authorities.

Comparative History of the slave trades

While Red Sea slave trade and Indian Ocean slave trade had a relatively slow and consistent influence on the spread of Islamic religion in West Africa, Trans-Saharan slave trade had minimal religious influence on the people’s culture but increased the demand for slaves in Europe and America considerably over the short period after it began. Trans-Saharan slave trade involved endorsements of local authorities such as monarchs in the exportations of civilians.

In Red Sea slave trade, the traders used galleries and small ships to move slaves from North Africa to Arabia, following Arab’s influence in North African states. In the case of Indian Ocean trade, the merchants who used large ships and boats steered by North easterlies and South west strong winds. Again the Indian Ocean slave trades only occurred periodically because the merchants’ movement’s depended on the trade winds and ocean tides that greatly limited their movements. Asian traders involved in the Indian Ocean trade often found themselves in conflict with the Dutch who also sought to control this same slave trade. Since they pioneered the trade in Asia before migrating to sell from the East African off-shore, the Dutch believed that they had the rights to take over the slave trade in the Indian Ocean.

Unlike Trans-Saharan slave trade, Indian Ocean Trade and red Sea trade had some open system that allowed the slave room for reasonable personal fulfillment. In Indian Ocean trade, slaves serving in high places such as palaces and royal residences would get promotion to serve at high levels in cosmopolitan areas1. However, in non-administrative settings, people continued to discriminate and stigmatize slaves as bond servants. The Dutch and Asian involvement in Indian Ocean trade was equally accompanied by exchange of material goods and money including cultural exchanges.

By mid 17th century, the Indian Ocean formed a major source of government revenue in many cities in Asia, while Trans-Saharan slave trade formed the hub of flourishing socio-economic changes in West Africa, America and Europe. As missionaries explored the world to spread Christianity, the trade counterparts who followed them quickly found new form of business flourishing in the South West Coast of Africa; slave trade therefore emerged as a priority as Europeans sought cheap labour from these new markets. The interaction between Red sea, Indian Ocean and Trans-Saharan trade in West Africa created an ideal market for Europeans with specific demand of gold gum and slaves. Thus, Tran-Saharan Trade as marked by Trans-Atlantic trade route further motivated the movement of slaves from West Africa into Europe.

While slaves in transported across the Red sea to the Arab World had the opportunity to serve in respected locations such as the King’s palaces, in Trans-Saharan slave trade, they were mainly dedicated to commercial activities such as the provision for labour requires in large industries2. This was also coupled by a myriad of socio-economic exchanges as opposed to the Indian Ocean slave trade. In transatlantic slave trade, the people would commonly be captured from the forest while in Indian Ocean; the traders captured the slaves from their homes. Thus transatlantic trade flourished following other major routes such as Transatlantic that facilitated the growth of the European market as caravan routes followed by ivory hides and skins, hostile slave’s ands and gold. In Indian Ocean trade and Red Sea movement of slaves little exchanges actually occurred that allowed for the growth of Africa in the now established slave trade.

The Trans-Saharan slave trade necessitated fast use of simple money as the volume of trade that accompanied slave trade in this region demonstrated the importance of using money as means of settling payments. Hence, in a period spanning the last two decades of the 19th century, Trans-Atlantic trade used minted coins as means of payment ahead of both Red Size and Indian Ocean trade that continued to trade on commodities such as cowry shells and other commodities.

Through spread of Christianity and religious teachings, trans-Saharan trade spread the doctrines of Islamic law and shuns other religions. The market share of slave trade and other commodities was controlled by communal on either side such that the older members based age while in the real sense this remain a strategy to keep other communities in check where they operate. Unlike Red Sea and Indian Ocean slave trade, in trans-Saharan slave trade, Africans also benefited from the business of slave trade by selling their fellow Africans to Americans and Europeans who would give them money and guns including gun powder in return3. As Trans-Saharan slave trade fell in the heart of elaborate routes of Trans Atlantic trade, Customers in Europe who demanded slaves to work in their firms and homes continued to more interest in cheap slaves from across the West African desert in exchange with finished commodities4 that included gold house hold materials and silver coins.

As the revenues of gold declined in the 18th century, it remained the optional responsibility of Europeans who invested in the Trans Atlantic system to put up their ships for slave movement across the red sea. Ideally Red Sea slave trade guaranteed the Portuguese significant returns relative to the trade in ivory and the declined gold products. Similarly, Indian Ocean slave trade provided a number of off-shore opportunities for the merchants as they could control the production activities in Asia to their own advantage.

Conclusion

Given Africa’s natural endowment of numerous resources, exploitation of its man power for suitability in the activities of other nations due to the processes of slavery at brim of colonization, at the chagrin of its pioneering leaders implied poverty from the onset of the continents civilization history. Clearly, slave trade dominated by Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean Slave trade destabilized the economy of the continent as the royal leaders of various territorial locations promoted the act at utter disguise of their communities and societies. Nonetheless, the contribution of slave trade to the development of first world and second world nation remains the hallmark of the once booming business in humanity that created deliberate shift in capital and means of production.

Bibliography

  1. Austen, Ralph. Trans-Saharan Africa in world history. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. Lovejoy, Paul. Transformations in slavery: a history of slavery in Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  3. Solow, Barbara. Slavery and the rise of the Atlantic system. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Footnotes

  1. Lovejoy Paul, Transformations in slavery: a history of slavery in Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 63
  2. Austen, Ralph. Trans-Saharan Africa in world history. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 47
  3. Solow, Barbara. Slavery and the rise of the Atlantic system. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 125.
  4. Lovejoy Paul, Transformations in slavery: a history of slavery in Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 66

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