Demand for Rarity: Evidence from a Collectible Good

<p>Markets for art, coins and other collectibles, culinary delicacies and eco-tourism suggest that consumers value the rarity of many goods. While empirical evidence supports higher prices for rare goods, isolating the value of rarity has proven difficult. I analyze prices for a collectible card game and show goods that are designated as rare trade at higher prices than functionally equivalent substitutes. Importantly, I use novel features of this market to account for scarcity, observed and unobserved product characteristics and separately identify rarity effects. These results have important implications for markets ranging from luxury goods to conservation of endangered species.</p>