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A post by François Lévêque in The conversation.
Here’s a little puzzle: an industry dominated by two European conglomerates, one French, the other Italian; a global market worth nearly $100bn; a good needed by two in three people on Earth; once objects of shame these products are now items of fashion; the range is so broad almost no one buys the same thing. One last clue to put you on the right track: even the rockstar Bruce Springsteen wears them. So what are they? Spectacles. Why do they fetch such a high price the world over, particularly in France? A short question, but the answer below is rather more involved.