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Another look at anti-scalping laws: Theory and evidence


  • Craig Depken



This paper investigates the impact of anti-scalping laws on the face value of tickets in professional football and baseball. Previous theoretical models have suggested that scalpers might cause an increase in prices at the ticket window because they represent an increase in demand. This paper provides a model in which ticket scalping has an ambiguous impact on ticket window prices, making the actual impact an empirical question. Empirical analysis suggest that in cities with anti-scalping laws average per-game season ticket prices are approximately $2 greater in baseball and $10 greater in football. Anti-scalping laws actually increase team revenues, as the laws have no adverse effect on attendance. Thus, event promoters might have sufficient pecuniary incentive to tacitly or explicitly support anti-scalping legislation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Craig Depken, 2007. "Another look at anti-scalping laws: Theory and evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 55-77, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:130:y:2007:i:1:p:55-77
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-9072-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen K. Happel and Marianne M. Jennings, 1995. "The Folly of Anti-Scalping Laws," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 15(1), pages 65-80, Spring/Su.
    2. Courty, Pascal, 2003. "Ticket Pricing under Demand Uncertainty," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 627-652, October.
    3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    4. Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2005. "Novelty Effects Of New Facilities On Attendance At Professional Sporting Events," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(3), pages 436-455, July.
    5. repec:cdl:agrebk:9855 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Larry Karp & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 2005. "When Promoters Like Scalpers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 477-508, 06.
    7. Zane A. Spindler, 2003. "How “Parasites†Serve their Host: A Graphical Analysis of “Scalpingâ€," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(6), pages 694-699, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pagnozzi, Marco & Saral, Krista J., 2019. "Auctions with limited liability through default or resale," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 51-74.
    2. Drayer, Joris & Rascher, Daniel A. & McEvoy, Chad D., 2012. "An examination of underlying consumer demand and sport pricing using secondary market data," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 448-460.
    3. Phillip Leslie & Alan Sorensen, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Ticket Resale," NBER Working Papers 15476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Joris, Drayer, 2011. "Examining the effectiveness of anti-scalping laws in a United States market," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 226-236, August.


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