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Consumer choice of theatrical productions: a combined revealed preference–stated preference approach

Abstract

This paper investigates the value of attributes of theatrical productions using a joint revealed preference–stated preference (RP–SP) method. SP models have advantages over RP models, requiring less data and avoiding multicollinearity problems which often confound RP analysis. However, the advantage to joint RP–SP model is that theatre-goers choices are anchored to real behaviour. The RP–SP model reveals the most important determinant of choice and willingness to pay (WTP) to be the type of show. The Royal Shakespeare Company strongly influenced choice and WTP. Reviews of productions by theatre critics influenced choice. A mixed logit model revealed considerable heterogeneity in theatre-goer tastes for types of show and variation in taste for the attributes of shows by socioeconomic and demographic profile of theatre-goers.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Abbe-Decarroux and Grin (1992) find that this risk might be a factor of attraction of certain audiences like youngsters since theatre can be more risky and risqué than other performances like opera or concerts.

  2. 2.

    E.g. where the number of people attending different shows is modelled as a function of the characteristics of the shows.

  3. 3.

    Peter Lathan in The British Theatre Guide.

  4. 4.

    This is a free package software which can be downloaded from http://transp-or.epfl.ch/page63023.html.

  5. 5.

    This is a free statistical package available at http://www.r-project.org/.

  6. 6.

    www.rsc.org.uk.

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Acknowledgments

This research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Arts Council England (ACE) under their Fellowship on the economic impact of arts and humanities. The authors would like to thank María Francisca Yáñez from Universidad Catolica de Chile, and Marco Boeri from Queen’s University Belfast, for their advice in the estimation of the model and WTP; and Jo Kirby, marketing director at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, for her support in the data collection and useful comments during the work.

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Correspondence to Kenneth G. Willis.

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Grisolía, J.M., Willis, K.G. Consumer choice of theatrical productions: a combined revealed preference–stated preference approach. Empir Econ 50, 933–957 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-015-0948-5

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Keywords

  • Theatre
  • Revealed preference–stated preference
  • Mixed logit model

JEL Classification

  • Z11
  • D12
  • C25