ACCORDING to an article published in Bloomberg, on February 28th Disney introduced “surge pricing” to its theme parks. Now, when I think of surge pricing, I think of an annoying little screen that appears on my smartphone making sure that I’m happy to pay 6x the normal fare for my cab home. Conditional on having opened the app, my demand for taxis is insensitive enough that I’ll almost always click the ‘Fine – rinse me’ button.

One thing that comforts me as the slow-moving traffic burns a hole in my bank balance: at least the higher fare might have encouraged my fine chauffeur on to the road. Uber, the master of surge pricing (they have been trying to patent it since 2013) claims that is the benefit of surge pricing: it equilibrates supply and demand. A study last year that they published showed that when their surge pricing mechanism broke, waiting times exploded and…Continue reading