Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Merchant of Venice and World Series Tickets

The prices for tickets to World Series games in Chicago have once again been set well below the market clearing prices. The nominal prices are between $125 and $185. But scalpers/brokers are charging between $515 and $7500 per ticket, depending on the game and the location of the seat. Skip Sauer has more at The Sports Economist.

There have been some unusual offers. For example, this one in the Chicago Tribune that Skip drew to my attention:

One posting at offered a healthy kidney--you choose left or right--for "two Sox tickets in the outfield!"
I presume the offerer is not serious. But what if s/he were serious? How might one enforce the contract? Surely one could not extract the kidney before the game, since then the offerer would not be able to attend the game -- s/he would still be recovering from the surgery. Do you think perhaps s/he wants to give up a kidney to get a pair of tickets for some friends or relatives? I doubt it.

But if the seller of the ticket waited until after the game to collect the kidney, that would be pretty risky. What if the offerer of the kidney reneged on the promise? How might one enforce such a contract, or, if it were deemed unenforceable, what remedies might one seek?

Enter Shylock.....
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