Markets in everything: randomized pizza prices

Sébastian Turben writes to me:

It's about a restaurant where at the end of your meal, you roll 3 dice, and if you get the combination 4-3-1 you don't have to pay…I guess what makes it work is that people will tend to eat more/more expensive that what they usually do, thinking that the proba[bility] of not paying is not that small…

The link, in French, is here.  I take this as evidence against the view that people systematically miscalculate expected utility in repeated, real market settings.  If they did, you would expect to see commercial lures like this much more often.  Maybe in mortgage markets, or credit card markets, people are overoptimistic about the bad (too many floating rate mortgages or too many people accepting the risk of high default fees), but I don't think in pizza markets they are overoptimistic about the good.  A restaurant which makes this kind of offer, of course, has to charge systematically higher prices, the greater the customer's chance of winning the lottery,

Addendum: Jeff Ely considers a related example.


Comments for this post are closed