Are the Obamas Bad for the Paparazzi Economy?

The paparazzi are like 18th-century pirates in that it’s hard to understand and control them until you realize that they’re rational, economic actors. The Obama administration seems to understand this. The White House has been strategically releasing photos of the Obamas in an attempt to drive down the value of paparazzi shots. The avalanche of Obama photos recently released to celebrate the administration’s 100-day anniversary will have saturated the market even further. Hollywood celebrities certainly manipulate the paparazzi market to their advantage as well. And if you want to get in on the act, you can even phone up your own local paparazzo-for-hire. (HT: David K. Greene) [%comments]


Flickr, I would think is worse for the papparrizzi economy. anyone can put up pictures of whatever they want. people can search for them and get them free.


Assuming somebody took an appropriate picture.

Bobby G

If I ever get famous I'm going to saturate my paparazzi economy by releasing my own pictures. That's actually a pretty good idea.


@ Jonathan

They could... but who would rather look at a grainy cellphone picture of some guy in a jacket who may or may not be Obama, taken from a hundred feet away?

If there are high-quality photos around, sure, the other ones may get taken, but they'll probably be limited to personal collections ('Hey, check out this picture I got when I visited DC!') as opposed to on the cover of Star.


hmm well there's a thought..............