1. Why do people pay exorbitant amounts of money to see a guest speaker at a conference when they could see them on TV or read their book for significantly less?
Similarly, people are willing to pay a lot more to see someone speak live than a videotape of a speech. Tyler Cowen suggests that it is a signalling problem: "The quality of the speaker signals the quality of the event, and most of all the quality of the other attendees. Wealthy people and successful people don't want to go to an event full of losers, why should they? So the organizers seek quality speakers, so as to attract quality participants."
2. You can buy mp3's or CDs of economics lectures by talented economics professors here for a few dollars per lecture. On the other hand, tuition at highly-ranked private universities is about $30,000 a year, which works out to a lot more than a few dollars per lecture. Why is there such a discrepancy? Why not just pay for the lectures and save thousands? (Note: this is not a suggestion, just a question for thought)
What are your thoughts on either of these questions? Why are live performances worth so much more?