The economics of ticket scalping

This is quite a good piece, here is one excerpt:

For the scalpers' business to work, they will often need to limit the
supply of tickets–and tear up the extras instead of selling them at
face value. Or in other cases, they create a perceived shortage of
tickets by dribbling them out slowly at auctions with fans not knowing
whether tickets are really available. The result of this is unhappy
fans and empty seats. This has some potentially bad long-term
consequences. On Broadway, to take one example, theater owners are
eager to create buzz around a show by keeping seats filled. If the
venue is going to be half-empty, they'll even "paper the house" by
having anyone connected to the production distribute free tickets.
Short-run gains for scalpers create long-run problems for theater
owners and performers.

This is different from the usual explanation that lower prices create desirable clientele effects.  The piece also offers a good discussion of Eric Crampton and Trent Raznor as well.  Hat tip goes to Felix Salmon.


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