Room Service Surplus
Staying at the Sheraton Boston, the hotel room has an option: “Reward yourself with a $5 voucher at participating food … outlets for each night you decline housekeeping services.” My consumer surplus actually exceeds the $5: I would pay a little bit extra not to have the cleaning people in my room, since I wouldn’t have to worry about packing things up to hide them, nor about the cleaning people mistakenly throwing something away. So I take the deal. One friend here says this isn’t worth it to him—he likes having his room cleaned up each morning. This illustrates how crucial individual tastes are to determining the surplus we gain from transactions—and the choices we make, or don’t.