In my Intro to Economics class last week, I was lecturing on externalises, that is negative or positive consequences of economic transactions not involving the buyer or seller. I have been thinking a lot about externalises and advertising. Whether it is the annoying pop-up ad on the internet or the giant bill board distracting with something you don’t want . In the past the state of Oregon has put a limit on the number of bill boards (Link to Market Place story). It then starting selling a few billboard permits, which could then be traded. Since there was a limited number of permits, the price for a billboard soon went as high as $100,000. Recently Oregonians voted to change a related law that made it so anyone who had owned land before the billboard restrictions (or other land use laws) would be grandfathered in to longer having to follow those laws. This removed the limit on billboards, not surprising new billboards are popping up, the state legislature stepped in and changed the new law. A revote on the measure will be placed on the ballot on Nov. 6th.
This brings me back to my thought, how big are the externalises of advertising in our daily lives?