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'. Subscribe