Last week we mentioned the news that Michael Jackson concert promoter AEG was offering fans who’d purchased tickets to his shows the chance to either keep the tickets as souvenirs or to get a refund.
There’s an interesting look at this dilemma from economist Tim Harford. Applying some game theory to the situation, he concludes that a non-nostalgic fan should indeed take the refund.
Game theory makes demanding assumptions about human rationality that may not apply to grieving fans. I would pay closer attention to research in economic psychology that suggests people are very unwilling to part with an item once they feel a sense of ownership. A non-nostalgic fan should go for the refund.
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