How much is your pet worth? Economists are stumped

Last week I made an economic exchange that was not entirely rational. I paid people at Tufts University's small-animal hospital US$4,000 (S$5,400) as a deposit on an estimated US$6,000 medical bill. This was for treating a cat that, six months ago, nobody wanted.

Nobody except me, and back then I wouldn't have been crushed if someone else had taken him and I had to choose a different cat. But nobody did.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2019, with the headline 'How much is your pet worth? Economists are stumped'. Print Edition | Subscribe