Something about sunk cost.

去年勇士丟了不少prospect向遊騎兵換來了Mark Teixeira,但並未如願打入季後賽,今年球季結束後Teixeira將成為FA,勇士雖然不是小市場球隊,但是也不能跟兩支紐約球隊和紅襪這些隊伍相比,加上剛結束了國聯東區的連霸時期,農場缺乏頂級天分,加上面對剛崛起且薪資結構漂亮,薪資額度也不輸勇士的費城人和不用為錢煩惱的大都會兩支強敵,必須要非常有效地利用手上的資源才有可能與之相抗,不巧的是Teixeira的agent剛好叫做Scott Boras,對於Teixeira這樣的天分,Boras要求的金額和年限勢必不會簡單,因此對勇士這樣雖然目前在retool,但不久後可能有rebuild需要的球隊來說,這種巨大合約是不能隨意給的,但可能有人會因為當初為換來Teixeira送走了Salty為首的許多新秀而覺得勇士必須要和Teixeira續約,不然這筆交易就虧大了。這種就是受到了sunk cost影響的不當想法,關於sunk cost,J. C. Bradbury以前舉過一個相當好的例子:

Any economist will tell you that sunk costs are irrelevant, but students have a hard time believing it. Let’s assume I had bought 2 tickets to Game 4 of the World Series for $1,800 (that was the going rate on E-bay) and a non-refundable plane fare to St. Louis for $1,200 for me and my wife. Two hours before my flight, I look on to see a 100% chance of rain—heavy rain. Even if they are able to get the game in I’m probably going to have to sit through 5-6 hours of getting soaked. I hate getting wet—so does my wife—and I can still see the game on TV if I don’t go. The question is: what am I giving up by not going? The standard student’s answer is $3,000, which is incorrect. Whether I stay or go, I am out $3,000. My choice is between seeing the game wet or seeing it dry. I can see it dry and that’s a perfectly rational decision. And it would be irrational for me to consider the $3,000 spent. It’s gone, and I can’t get it back (the ticket is non-refundable, and I don’t have time to sell and ship the tickets before the game). When I teach sunk costs to students with similar examples, it drives them mad. That’s not the way we’ve been trained to think. “You have to get on that plane or you’ll be out $3,000!” someone will say. I chuckle, because that was my first reaction. But the more I thought about it, the more I understood.



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