Thursday, August 5

Scalpers play a valuable role

From, a project of Institute for Humane Studies. For a local context on this issue, see Ticket scalping is a market function, not a criminal activity.

I bet you thought you were supposed to hate these guys: ticket scalpers, middle men, people who scour the secondary market for profit. If you’re like most Americans, you don’t think very highly of them. Yet, Prof. Stephen Davies says they serve an important function in the marketplace. Ticket scalpers and other middle men—people who connect sellers with buyers and profit by doing so—help make our markets more efficient. In some cases, middle men may even perform a life-saving service, as they did in 18th century England during periods of food shortage. Have you ever thought about the contributions middle men make to society?