IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Uniform prices for differentiated goods: The case of the movie-theater industry

  • Orbach, Barak Y.
  • Einav, Liran
Registered author(s):

    Since the early 1970s, movie theaters in the United States have employed a pricing model of uniform prices for differentiated goods. At any given theater, one price is charged for all movies, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This pricing model is puzzling in light of the potential profitability of prices that vary with demand characteristics. Another unique aspect of the motion-picture industry is the legal regime that imposes certain constraints on vertical arrangements between distributors and retailers (exhibitors) and attempts to facilitate competitive bidding for films. We explore the justifications for uniform pricing in the industry and show their limitations. We conclude that exhibitors could increase profits by engaging in variable pricing and that they could do so more easily if the legal constraints on vertical arrangements are lifted.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0144818807000488
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 129-153

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:27:y:2007:i:2:p:129-153
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2007.06.002
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/irle

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. George A. Akerlof, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-569.
    2. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
    3. Franciosi, Robert, et al, 1995. "Fairness: Effect on Temporary and Equilibrium Prices in Posted-Offer Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 938-50, July.
    4. Nelson, Randy A, et al, 2001. "What's an Oscar Worth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(1), pages 1-16, January.
    5. Kenney, Roy W & Klein, Benjamin, 2000. "How Block Booking Facilitated Self-Enforcing Film Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 427-35, October.
    6. Gary S. Becker, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 67, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    7. Liran Einav, 2007. "Seasonality in the U.S. motion picture industry," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 127-145, 03.
    8. Elizabeth J. Warner & Robert B. Barsky, 1995. "The Timing and Magnitude of Retail Store Markdowns: Evidence from Weekends and Holidays," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 321-352.
    9. Hanssen, F Andrew, 2000. "The Block Booking of Films Reexamined," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 395-426, October.
    10. Pashigian, B Peter, 1988. "Demand Uncertainty and Sales: A Study of Fashion and Markdown Pricin g," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 936-53, December.
    11. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
    12. G.F. Mathewson & R.A. Winter, 1984. "An Economic Theory of Vertical Restraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(1), pages 27-38, Spring.
    13. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
    14. Joseph J. Spengler, 1950. "Vertical Integration and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 347.
    15. Gerben Bakker, 2003. "Building Knowledge about the Consumer: The Emergence of Market Research in the Motion Picture Industry," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 101-127.
    16. Ravid, S Abraham, 1999. "Information, Blockbusters, and Stars: A Study of the Film Industry," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(4), pages 463-92, October.
    17. Barro, Robert J & Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Ski-Lift Pricing, with Applications to Labor and Other," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 875-90, December.
    18. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    19. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
    20. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
    21. Aviv Nevo & Konstantinos Hatzitaskos, 2005. "Why Does the Average Price of Tuna Fall During Lent?," NBER Working Papers 11572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1988. "Economic Efficiency versus Egalitarian Rights," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 215-37.
    23. Kenney, Roy W & Klein, Benjamin, 1983. "The Economics of Block Booking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 497-540, October.
    24. MacDonald, James M, 2000. "Demand, Information, and Competition: Why Do Food Prices Fall at Seasonal Demand Peaks?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 27-45, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:27:y:2007:i:2:p:129-153. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.