Is The Professor wrong about Usain Bolt?

August 22, 2008

Professor Cheung wrote about Liu Xiang (刘翔) and Usain Bolt in this entry “从刘翔弃赛说黄龙觅士“. I have written about Liu Xiang here and have nothing much to add.

What I do want to humbly point out is I think the Professor is wrong in his assessment of Bolt,

牙 买加的飞人博尔特可谓不识时务。冲线之前他伸臂拍胸,明显地缓慢了下来,仍然以九秒六九破了一百米的世界纪录。如果此公不搞搞震,九秒六○易过借火,这样 的纪录可能维持数十年。

Given the talent of Usain, I think he is so good that he can pretty much break the world record a few times as he improves. So, economically, why would he want to push it all the way out to something that will take him years to break? If I had Usain kind of talent, then theoretically speaking I can break a world record once and get it to 9.60 OR break it a few times (or nine times) over a few years, one for each of 9.68, 9.67, 9.66, … 9.60. If I were Usain, it seems rather obvious that I would definitely want to choose the later option and gain the benefit & hype of extending my “wow” factor and sustaining people’s attention. To me, the commercial and advertising values will certainly be higher after each contract negotiation every few years. 🙂

Here is a link to my brief “Dear Usain Bolt“.

P.S. And I think there is prize money for breaking a world record in some of the international track competitions too.

P.P.S. Sorry I haven’t blogged about The Professor’s “Economic System of China” yet as I have been preoccupied with many things on my plate. I will blog about the article when I find some time. I will.

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A reply to Kin Ming

August 15, 2008

My guess is that in a country with under developed institutional arrangement, regional competition is particularly helpful.  If region A is getting too unreasonable in terms of policy, taxation and corruption, investors can shift to region B instead.  In other words, the regional competition can, to a certain extend, serves as a powerful tool to reduce ‘crazy practices’, including corruption.  In the long run, to strengthen the institutional arrangement (i.e. delineation and enforcement of property rights) is still inevitable.

Wallace


中國經濟制度的題外話

August 10, 2008

對於張五常教授的中國的經濟制度,仍在反覆沉思。思考方向主要有兩點,其一是相較於早已以資產界定權利的國家,地區競爭制度為甚麼在權利結構從以等級轉為以資產界定時特別重要。其二是地區競爭制度在創造中國經濟奇蹟的同時,是否同時存在阻礙中國經濟發展的特性。

上述兩者未有結論,不妨先分享近日閱讀中國近代史所得。

包產到戶作為中國經濟改革的開始,卻原來並非由政府倡議。七八年的十一屆三中全會,中央仍然指出不許包產到戶,但同年部分地區的災情,卻迫使部分地方的農民及幹部,自行發明了包產到戶的制度。

地區競爭制度有賴中央下放權力。這種安排最早見於五八年,中央把國企、計劃經濟管理、基建審批等權力下放地方。只是中國此後屢生政治風波,不時反左反右,於是地方權力收收放放,未能貫徹推行。