The game between Australia and Ireland on Saturday night at Eden Park was the biggest upset so far in this RWC. The RWC in New Zealand generally brings pleasure to a significant part of the population. Some will pay to go to games; others will pay to watch it on SKY TV; some will watch it on free to air on TVONE and Maori TV; others will listen to it on the radio; another group will enjoy reading about it in the newspapers. Irish supporters, including myself, will take great pleasure in talking about such a result – lets face it we don’t have much to cheer about at the moment with the state of the economy. What all this alludes to is the fact that as part of this entertainment comes without the public paying for it, the public benefits from an externality.
Those who have flown over for the RWC to support Ireland and went to the game will have no doubt spent a significant amount especially when you consider the state of the euro. Nevertheless the satisfaction (utility) derived in NZ$ from the game would have been much greater than the price they paid for the ticket. This suggest that there is a lot of consumer surplus present – the difference between the price that a consumer WOULD BE WILLING TO PAY, and the price that he or she actually HAS TO PAY. The RWC has been a great success so far and there have been more positive than negative externalities (transport system). Also it looks as if it will be a Northern Hemisphere v Southern Hemisphere final – a positive externality for the IRB? Go Ireland!!!!!