Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


From this morning's Mankato Free Press:

Greater Mankato Training Camp, LLC, has the city of North Mankato's best wishes, plus the possible use of police reserve officers and city equipment.

It just can't have any money.

Representatives of the organization, which formed in late 2003 after reports that the Minnesota Vikings might withdraw their training camp from Mankato, asked the North Mankato City Council for $10,000 annually for three years.

The Vikings have held their training camp at the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus for over 40 years. Last year, the Vikings shopped the camp around to prospective cities in an attempt to get public subsidization for the camp - market power at work. Mankato ended up chipping in. But North Mankato didn't. Do North Mankato officials see the light or are they just free riders?

North Mankato has only two hotels. The rest of the hotels in the micropolitan area are in Mankato. Most of the bars and restaurants that would be frequented by camp goers are also in Mankato, so I doubt that North Mankato would feel much of any spillover that might exist (I say "might exist" because I am skeptical that the camp nets $5 million in additional spending in the Mankato region).