Tyler Cowen says a conference he was recently invited to exhibited a behavioral economics inspired pricing scheme.
(T)he price of registration rises by $150 for every week that passes. This encapsulates at least two principles of behavioral economics. First, it combats our natural tendency to procrastinate. Second, if you register early you feel you have won a bargain when in fact it still costs something. This is of course also a planning externality if they know the number and nature of attendees sooner rather than later.
Isn’t this the same basic pricing strategy – charging more the closer it is to the event – that airlines use? One reason why airlines use this pricing strategy is to set aside a block of seats for likely last minute travelers, (ie. business travelers). Other events like concerts and New Year’s Eve parties sometimes use this price strategy, actually. As do night clubs and bars that give discounts if you show up before midnight.