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An economic guide to ticket pricing in the entertainment industry


  • Pascal COURTY

    (London Business School, Department of Economics)


This paper reviews the literature on ticket pricing in the entertaniment industry. All along, I try to evaluate whether ticket markets outeomes are consistent with theoretical predictions. Overall, the literature provides a good understanding for observed variations in ticket prices. The literature, however, fails to explain situations where prices do not vary. We have but a poor understanding for why prices often do not vary over the run of a show, why more popular shows do not charge more and why most venues are scaled in just a few sections. I also review the empirical literature of price discrimination in ticket, markets. By contrasting the theoretical and the enipirical literatures, the paper identifies a set of promising directions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal COURTY, 2000. "An economic guide to ticket pricing in the entertainment industry," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2000024, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2000024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rosen, Sherwin & Rosenfield, Andrew M, 1997. "Ticket Pricing," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 351-376, October.
    2. Walras, L. & Holmes, P., 1980. "The state and the railways," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 81-100, February.
    3. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-149, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Conze, Maximilian & Kramm, Michael, 2013. "The Recommendation Effect in the Hotelling Game - A New Result for an Old Model," Ruhr Economic Papers 460, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Aditya Bhave & Eric Budish, 2017. "Primary-Market Auctions for Event Tickets: Eliminating the Rents of 'Bob the Broker'?," NBER Working Papers 23770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Maximilian Conze & Michael Kramm, 2013. "The Recommendation Effect in the Hotelling Game - A New Result for an Old Model," Ruhr Economic Papers 0460, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Connolly, Marie & Krueger, Alan B., 2006. "Rockonomics: The Economics of Popular Music," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    5. 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.
    6. Marie Connolly & Alan Krueger, 2005. "Rockonomics: The Economics of Popular Music," Working Papers 878, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Andrew Sweeting, 2008. "Equilibrium Price Dynamics in Perishable Goods Markets: The Case of Secondary Markets for Major League Baseball Tickets," NBER Working Papers 14505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pascal Courty, 2003. "Some Economics of Ticket Resale," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 85-97, Spring.
    9. Jones, Steven L. & Yeoman, John C., 2009. "The promoter's role in ticket pricing: Implications of real options for optimal posted prices and rationing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 1187-1192, November.
    10. Vlad Radoias, 2017. "When Price Discrimination Fails – A Principal Agent Problem with Social Influence," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(2), pages 212-221, March.
    11. Alexei Alexandrov & Martin A. Lariviere, 2012. "Are Reservations Recommended?," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 14(2), pages 218-230, April.
    12. Michael Rushton, 2011. "Pricing the Arts," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 49 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. repec:zbw:rwirep:0460 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bakker, Gerben, 2012. "Sunk costs and the dynamics of creative industries," Economic History Working Papers 49081, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.

    More about this item


    Ticket Markets; Price Discrimination; Price Compression;

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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