Home > economics, law > Opposing Tennessee’s Fairness in Ticketing Act

Opposing Tennessee’s Fairness in Ticketing Act

scalpingAlthough the Tennessee Perfoming Arts Center’s Kathleen O’Brien makes a compelling case for Tennessee’s Fairness in Ticketing Act in a Tennessean op ed, all citizens should reject this anti-gouging legislation on moral grounds.*

Contrary to her claim of “forcing” fans into a resale market, consumers are under no obligation to purchase tickets at any price. If they decide to purchase tickets it is because the value they receive exceeds the price they pay. Unless prices reflect market demand these goods and services are unlikely to be available to those who desire them most, since tickets for live events are finite and scarce relative to the population.

Even though organizations like StubHub may be selling “speculative tickets” they don’t yet own, they nevertheless communicate information to potential ticket buyers unable to reschedule their lives around an online ticket sale. Higher prices will reduce demand amongst buyers and create a profit incentive for more resellers to enter the market. These motives and incentives will ultimately increase competition and drive prices down.

Price gouging only occurs when demand is high and supply is low, and anti-gouging laws do nothing to address the underlying shortage. Even if we assume gouging to be exploitative and wrong, making it illegal doesn’t make sense either. If during a drought I buy the last bottled water in town for $2 and sell it to another person desperately fighting dehydration at $6, should that be illegal? If so, the vulnerable person is hurt the most by removing the distributive justice of the market.

*Based on Matt Zwolinski’s research into the ethics of exploitation

UPDATE: My response was published in The Tennessean.

Image via Google Images

  1. May 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I almost never drop comments, but i did a few searching and wound up here Opposing Tennessees Fairness in Ticketing Act | Spatial Orientation.
    And I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind.
    Is it just me or does it look like some of the comments look as if they are left by brain dead
    individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting on other social
    sites, I’d like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you make a list of all of your communal pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?


  1. March 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

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