Markets in everything

I call this one: "Price-discriminating monopolists appeal to the weak-willed" edition.  Let’s say you want to attract the religiously minded parts of the individual.  What might your prices look like?

When Larry Pinczower switches on his cellphone, the seal of a rabbinate
council appears. Unable to send text messages, take photographs or
connect to the Internet, his phone is a religiously approved adaptation
to modernity by the ultra-Orthodox sector of Israeli life.

More than 10,000 numbers for phone sex, dating services and the like
are blocked, and rabbinical overseers ensure that the lists are up to
date. Calls to other kosher phones are less than 2 cents a minute,
compared with 9.5 cents for normal phones. But on the Sabbath any call
costs $2.44 a minute, a steep religious penalty.

Or maybe there is no weakness of will, but rather the high prices signal the religious loyalty of the phone owner.  Here is the full and fascinating article, and thanks to Zev for the pointer.

Why is it not $10 a minute for a call on the Sabbath?  Might too high a price signal the person is excessively weak-willed?


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