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The Economics of Real Superstars: The Market for Rock Concerts in the Material World

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University and National Bureau of Economic Research)

Beginning in 1997, the price of concert tickets took off and ticket sales declined. From 1996 to 2003, for example, the average concert price increased by 82%, while the CPI increased by 17%. Explanations for price growth include (1) the possible crowding out of the secondary ticket market, (2) rising superstar effects, (3) Baumols and Bowen's disease, (4) increased concentraion of promoters, and (5) the erosion of complementarities between concerts and album sales because of file sharing and CD copying. The article tentatively concludes that the decline in complementarities is the main cause of the recent surge in concert prices.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/425431
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-30

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:23:y:2005:i:1:p:1-30
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  1. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, March.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin & Rosenfield, Andrew M, 1997. "Ticket Pricing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 351-76, October.
  3. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
  4. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
  5. James Peoples, 1998. "Deregulation and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 111-130, Summer.
  6. Hamlen, William A, Jr, 1991. "Superstardom in Popular Music: Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 729-33, November.
  7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  8. Orley Ashenfelter & Timothy Hannan, 1986. "Sex Discrimination and Product Market Competition: The Case of the Banking Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 149-173.
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