Are ads enough?

In the LA Times, Joel Stein asks, “what’s the deal with all the ads?” Surely, there is so much money they can extract? Along the way, he quotes yours truly:

According to Joshua Gans, an economist at Melbourne Business School in Australia, whom I could call by using free international Internet phone service, there’s a social norm against repugnant transactions, such as paying for a kidney. In the last few years, too many transactions have become repugnant. “And if you need to make money to pay for the content … and you can’t get the consumers to pay, what do you do? Sell a related product, advertising,” Gans told me. The good news is that at this point, I’m pretty sure The Times’ sales staff will sell space on their kidneys.

It is a little out of context. Here is the link to the paper that discusses this in more detail.