Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies: And Other Pricing Puzzles

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9780387769998: Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies: And Other Pricing Puzzles
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Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies, And Other Pricing Puzzles unravels the pricing mysteries we encounter every day.

Have you ever wondered why all movies, whether blockbusters or duds, have the same ticket prices? Why sometimes there are free lunches? Why so many prices end with "9"? Why ink cartridges can cost as much as printers? Why merchants offer sales, coupons, and rebates? Why long lines are good for shoppers? Why men earn more than women, around the globe – and why they always will?

Richard McKenzie goes on to show how the 9/11 terrorists still kill Americans every day, because their attack distorted the perceived risks and relative prices of air vs. automobile travel, and jacked up both security costs and flight delays. Professor McKenzie also explores the unintended consequences of well-meaning efforts to spur the use of environmentally friendly fuels: starvation among millions of people around the world, and the destruction of rainforests in Malaysia and Indonesia.

How can these things be? If you think you know the answers, think again. Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies, And Other Pricing Puzzles shows you that the real reasons are sophisticated and surprising – and in Professor McKenzie’s hands, both informative and entertaining.

You won’t need a degree in economics to enjoy this fascinating book, just an armchair and an inquiring mind.

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With exhaustive research and a wry sense of humor, University of California, Irvine professor Richard McKenzie probes the pricing questions that consumers so often fail to ask in Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies. By distilling the effectiveness of commonly-held strategies, McKenzie illuminates the logic in the seemingly illogical and shakes the foundations of prevalent pricing myths. Are we really fooled by prices that end in 9? If holiday clearance sales are about excess inventory, wouldn't retailers hire better buyers the next year? And why do coffee shops offer free WiFi? Fans of Freakonomics will enjoy McKenzie's entertaining analysis, as you may never look at sales, coupons, rebates - or movie theater popcorn - the same way again. - Dave Callanan

About the Author:

Richard McKenzie is the Walter B. Gerken Professor of Enterprise and Society in the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. He has written a number of books on economic policy, most notably the Microsoft antitrust case in the United States. His latest book, In Defense of Monopoly: How Market Power Fosters Creative Production (University of Michigan Press, 2008) challenges the theoretical foundations of antitrust law and enforcement. His commentaries have appeared in national and major regional newspapers in the United States, and he produced an award-winning documentary film, Homecoming: The Forgotten World of America's Orphanages, that has aired across the country on public television. Richard McKenzie is a frequent columnist for Wall Street Journal.

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