Pay as You Go: A New Proposal for Museum Pricing

IEW Working Paper No. 485

14 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2020

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Lasse Steiner

University of Zurich

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 20, 2010


Museums have many different goals beyond efficiency such as social equity, financial revenue, attracting donors and gaining international, regional or local prestige. Various pricing schemes are being discussed with the aim of reaching these goals. The classical ones are entry prices and free entry. The museum club solution or exit donations allow for various additional goals. Each scheme has clear advantages and disadvantages. We propose an innovative pricing instrument: Exit prices, which are charged according to the time spent in a museum. This scheme has a number of notable advantages, in particular the better choice available to the visitors, which increases their satisfaction.

Keywords: Prices, museums, culture, donations, homo oeconomicus

JEL Classification: Z11, L30, H40, R32, L21

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Steiner, Lasse, Pay as You Go: A New Proposal for Museum Pricing (April 20, 2010). IEW Working Paper No. 485, Available at SSRN: or

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002

Lasse Steiner

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006

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