The manager of the world famous Koala Caves offers a tour each afternoon starting at 3pm. The caves can be shown to only four people per day without undermining their ecology. Occasionally however, more than four people want to see the caves on the same day. The following table lists the people who wanted to see the caves on September 12, 2010, together with their respective times of arrival and the maximum price they each would be willing to pay for taking the tour that day.
Maximum price ($)
a. If there is no charge for the tour and the manager operates it on a first come, first served basis, what will the total consumer surplus be for the four people who get to go on the tour that day?
b. Suppose the manager asks for volunteers to postpone their tour by offering increasing amounts of cash compensation until only four people want to see the caves that day. If he gives each volunteer the same compensation payment, how much money will he have to offer each volunteer to get the required number of volunteers? What is the total economic surplus under this policy?
c. Why is the compensation policy more efficient than the first come first served policy?
d. Describe a way of financing the manager's compensation payments that will make everyone, including the manager, either better off or no worse off than under the first come, first served approach. (Hint: Imagine that the manager tells the visitors that he will stick with first come, first served unless they agree to contribute to the compensation pool as he requests.)