Why popcorn costs so much at the movies

Richard McKenzie’s book, Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies, and other pricing puzzles, is out. I have not seen the finished book yet but I interviewed McKenzie recently and read a couple of chapters, which I enjoyed. It looks like a good microeconomics primer to me – a nice mix of thoughtful price theory and contemporary examples.

What is unusual about the book – I am going here on McKenzie’s description – is that it not only explains the everyman theory (popcorn costs a lot because multiplex operators are scoundrels) and the standard economic explanations (popcorn costs a lot because that’s a good way to differentiate price-insensitive customers) but also alternatives. McKenzie often seems to find a twist.

Tim Harford’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.