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What Do I Have In Common With Hannah Montana?

I sometimes do wear a wig and too much eye makeup, but that’s not what I had in mind.

The answer to the question is that people are scalping tickets to both of our performances. There was uproar recently about the steep prices resellers were getting for her concert tickets — sometimes upwards of $2,000.

My venue is a little cozier than Montana’s. The room to which I was assigned for my undergraduate class at the University of Chicago only holds about 100 people. Only 80 students were allowed to pre-register, but another 45 showed up in hopes of getting a spot in the course. My standard way of admitting students when a class is over-subscribed is a lottery, despite the obvious inefficiencies. The problem with a lottery is that it doesn’t let in the students who care the most about winning a spot. I don’t think, however, that the university would look kindly on me auctioning the seats to the highest bidders, even if it is more efficient.

Even if I can’t sell spots in the class to whoever is willing to pay the most, it hasn’t stopped an enterprising student already enrolled in the class from giving it a shot with an online ad. The student offers his seat in the class to the highest bidder. So far, however, the prices are not yet reaching Hannah Montana territory. As of this writing, the current high bid is $0.

Prospective buyers might want to be cautious. I’m not sure being registered in a class at the university bestows upon a student the right to transfer enrollment to another student. If the administration says it is okay, I will go along with it, but I suspect it won’t fly.

In the spirit of trying to do better than just randomly assigning spots in the class, I will make the following offer: the first two students who are not currently registered for the course, but were in class on Monday, to leave a comment in response to this blog post will get guaranteed entry into the course.