Chuck E. Cheese’s: Where a Kid Can Learn Price Theory. Chuck E. Cheese’s logo. Photo Credit: rg- fotos/flickr)Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “Chuck E.
Cheese’s: Where a Kid Can Learn Price Theory.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at i. Tunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.)The pizza- and- gaming emporium prides itself on affordability, which means its arcade games are really cheap to play. Does that lead to kids hogging the best games — and parents starting those infamous You. Tube brawls? Below is a transcript of the episode, modified for your reading pleasure.
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For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post. And you’ll find credits for the music in the episode noted at the end of the transcript.* * *[MUSIC: Eric Bolvin, “Nostalgic Love”]Stephen DUBNER: Hey Levitt, you ever go to Chuck E. Cheese with your kids or maybe on your own? Steve LEVITT: Well, you can’t go on your own. They won’t let you in if you don’t have kids.
DUBNER: Is that true? LEVITT: It is true. I’m happy to say I didn’t find that out the hard way. I didn’t actually show up at a Chuck E. Cheese without my kids, but I have heard that they will not let you in without children. DUBNER: So you’ve been with children? LEVITT: I haven’t been in a long time, but in the day I used to take my kids there.
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And you know me, I like the simple things in life, and that means I love places like Chuck E. Cheese. I just love arcade games. They’re fun. They’re a great mix of manual dexterity and little bit thinking. DUBNER: And have you ever become violent at a Chuck E.
Cheese because someone else’s kid wouldn’t, you know, get off the Skee- Ball? LEVITT: I can proudly say I have never become violent at Chuck E. Cheese; never been tempted towards violence at Chuck E. Cheese. That’s Steve Levitt, my Freakonomics friend and co- author. He’s an economist at the University of Chicago.
Chuck E. Cheese, if you’re not familiar with it, is a popular family- entertainment spot with pizza and arcade games …Chuck E. Treating Otitis Media With Effusion In Adults more. Cheese Commercial: Chuck E.
Cheese’s. Where a kid can be a kid. I was asking Levitt about the potential for violence at Chuck E. Cheese – which officially is Chuck E.
Cheese’s, possessive, but most people shorten it to Chuck E. Cheese or Chuckee- Cheese – because that’s what a Freakonomics listener had asked us about. Nathan CORROY: Well, I’m not the type of guy to hit somebody and certainly not a child. But it led me to think it did seem plausible.[MUSIC: Binary, “Cheeky Motives”]Today on Freakonomics Radio, we ask a simple question. How does the price of a good or a service effect consumer behavior? Our cast of characters include: our economist… LEVITT: Okay, so the one thing I want to get across is the idea about rivalry.
Our listener …CORROY: Do I personally feel okay with that? No. We hear from the founder of Chuck E. Cheese … Nolan BUSHNELL: It’s an interesting theory. The current administration of Chuck E. Amphetamine Dextroamphetamine Dosage For Adults there. Cheese … Michael HARTMAN: The first thing I’ll say is incidents at Chuck E. Cheese’s are very rare.
We hear what happens when things go wrong at Chuck E. Cheese: Larry DEETJEN: What happened is they began pushing and shoving the police officer. Avoidant Attachment Disorder In Adults Symptoms here. We ask: what’s price got to do with it? CORROY: I mean, I think it certainly could be. And we hear Steve Levitt’s brilliant idea for testing this theory: LEVITT: Maybe I could dress up as a child, you could be the adult.
And then we can see how many other parents, if I monopolize a game, end up attempting to beat you into a pulp.* * * DUBNER: Levitt, I’ve often heard you say that the one thing that economists are reliably good at doing is setting the appropriate price of a good or service. Can you explain briefly in your economist- speak how you do that? LEVITT: So essentially the art of setting prices is simply figuring out what price to set so that you have the marginal cost of providing that good equal to the marginal revenue generated by the sale of that good. DUBNER: So the danger of setting a price too high if you’re selling would seem to be obvious, right? People don’t buy what you’re selling. But what’s the danger of setting a price too low?
LEVITT: The danger of setting a price too low of course is that too many people want to consume the good. If it’s a kind of good where someone takes it and walks out of the store, then you’ll find that the shelves are empty.
In the case where it’s not something we actually take out of the store but instead something you experience then what you end up having are long lines of people, all of whom want access to that same good but only a few of whom can actually consume the good. We’ve talked a lot on this program about how price affects behavior. For instance, one of the most effective tools to cut smoking?
Price and tax hikes: Kenneth WARNER: What we know is that if you increase the price by 1. But what about when prices fall?
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