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An economic perspective on rock concerts and climate change: Should carbon offsets compensating emissions be included in the ticket price?

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  • Marie Connolly

    ()

  • Jérôme Dupras
  • Charles Séguin

Abstract

Musicians, singers and bands can use their popularity to promote various causes and products, either through endorsements or more individual initiatives. Environmental activism is becoming more widespread as humans are trying to tackle and mitigate climate change. In this paper, we ask how best a band can compensate for the carbon emissions generated by fans travelling to its shows. We first report on the various “green” initiatives and practices of the music industry. We then focus on greenhouse gas emissions that result from tours and concerts since they are one of the largest environmental impacts generated by the music industry. We take the perspective of the artist or band wishing to internalize their carbon emissions and present a model of carbon offsets in the context of rock concerts, which amounts to the private provision of a public good. In our model, bands have the option to include offsets in the ticket price or to offer voluntary offsets. To illustrate our point, we present a field study conducted by a Quebec rock band at shows in Montreal and in Europe to show how the artists can reduce the environmental impact of their concert by buying carbon credits equivalent to their fans’ footprint. We show that at 1 % of the ticket price on average, the cost of carbon offsets is marginal and discuss the numerous challenges that arise for those artists wanting to engage in carbon offsetting. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Marie Connolly & Jérôme Dupras & Charles Séguin, 2016. "An economic perspective on rock concerts and climate change: Should carbon offsets compensating emissions be included in the ticket price?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(1), pages 101-126, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:40:y:2016:i:1:p:101-126
    DOI: 10.1007/s10824-015-9265-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Markus Milne & Rob Gray, 2013. "W(h)ither Ecology? The Triple Bottom Line, the Global Reporting Initiative, and Corporate Sustainability Reporting," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 13-29, November.
    2. Courty, Pascal & Pagliero, Mario, 2012. "The Pricing of Art and the Art of Pricing: Pricing Styles in the Concert Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 8967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Forest L. Reinhardt & Robert N. Stavins & Richard H. K. Vietor, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility Through an Economic Lens," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 219-239, Summer.
    4. Phillip Leslie & Alan Sorensen, 2014. "Resale and Rent-Seeking: An Application to Ticket Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 266-300.
    5. Markus Kitzmueller & Jay Shimshack, 2012. "Economic Perspectives on Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 51-84, March.
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    7. Matthew J. Kotchen, 2009. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods for Bads: A Theory of Environmental Offsets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 883-899, April.
    8. Lioui, Abraham & Sharma, Zenu, 2012. "Environmental corporate social responsibility and financial performance: Disentangling direct and indirect effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 100-111.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Concerts; Climate change; Carbon offsets; Environment; Green bands; Z11; Q54; Q51;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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