A recent episode of the podcast Planet Money notes the price tag is a fairly recent invention. And it could already be on its way out.
We tend to think of price as innate. A can of Coke is red. It’s 12 ounces. It costs a dollar. The price doesn’t go up or down when we’re thirsty. It stays fixed.
People didn’t used to think about prices this way. The price tag wasn’t even invented until the 19th century; for most of human history, we haggled.
With the growth of dynamic pricing, from airlines to Amazon, things are changing again.