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Why Do People (Not) Cough in Concerts? The Economics of Concert Etiquette

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  • Andreas Wagener

    (School of Economics and Management, University of Hannover)

Abstract

Concert etiquette demands that audiences of classical concerts avoid inept noises such as coughs. Yet, coughing in concerts occurs more frequently than elsewhere, implying a widespread and intentional breach of concert etiquette. Using the toolbox of (behavioral) economics, we study the social costs and benefits of concert etiquette and the motives and implications of individually disobeying such social norms. Both etiquette and its breach arise from the fact that music and its "proper" perception form parts of individual and group identities, convey prestige and status, allow for demarcation and inclusion, produce conformity, and affirm individual and social values.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Wagener, 2012. "Why Do People (Not) Cough in Concerts? The Economics of Concert Etiquette," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-05-2012, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Dec 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:cue:wpaper:awp-05-2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Some people go to classical concerts to cough
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-01-16 21:28:00

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Concert etiquette; social norms; music;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact

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