The One-Man Band by the Quick Lunch Stand: Modeling Audience Response to Street Performance
Source: Journal of Cultural Economics, Volume 24, Number 1, February 2000 , pp. 65-77(13)
This paper considers street performance, or busking, focusing on differences between performance in this environment compared with the standard concert setting. First, in contrast with a set, known ticket price, the price of street performance is endogenously determined. Second, busking generally involves a joint product: music and charity, where charity is produced internally by the audience and has as its principal input the price paid for music. We show that these facts call into question some general conclusions of conventional public finance models, which suggest that the major efficiency problem with busking is its inability to prevent freeriding behavior, and that freeriding, while efficient at the individual level, is inefficient at the societal level. In contrast, we argue in this paper that busking, with freeriding and all, is not unambiguously inferior to concert hall performance in terms of efficiency.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 2000-02-01