The Economics of Hotel Laundry

Daniel Hamermesh argues for a smarter hotel pricing system:

I spent three nights recently in the guest house at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.  Very pleasant and it was priced at $20/night (obviously heavily subsidized).  In addition, however, there was a one-time $16 charge for cleaning at the end of my stay.

This pricing scheme was clever since cleaning of the room, and certainly of linens, is typically done in full only at the end of a several-day stay.  Why should someone pay the same per night for a one-day stay as for a three-day stay?  They shouldn’t.  Pricing like this in hotels more generally would reflect hotels’ costs more accurately and prevent long-stay guests from subsidizing short-stay guests.