Caitlin Hartsell
Last Wednesday, Show-Me Institute staff and interns ventured on our third free-market field trip. We went to Busch stadium to interact with one of the freer markets available here in Missouri: ticket scalping.

We assembled into four teams, starting out with either Cardinals tickets (two tickets normally valued at $39, although we bought them for $20 each) or money ($60). We each competed to try to improve our situation by engaging in voluntary market transactions.

Even ticket scalping can leave both parties better off! Without giving too much away, the video demonstrates a few key economics lessons, like information asymmetry — where one party has better information than the other. In this case, the experienced sellers understood the market much better than some of our teams did. Another lesson that comes up in the video is the idea of value: A ticket's face value does not necessarily reflect how another party will value it, and thus it may be difficult to recoup a ticket's nominal "worth" when selling it. Issues of supply and demand also came into play, as we were at a game on a hot day when tickets were not sold out.

Further lessons can be gleaned from the free-market explanations interspersed throughout the video. I encourage you to watch it!

About the Author

Caitlin Hartsell