Thursday, November 14, 2013

Opportunity Costs and Rational Expectations

Belladonna is learning some basic principles of Economics:  Opportunity Costs and Rational Expectations.


This is the first time in a long time that we do not have any kids playing winter sports.  Belladonna was planning on playing Varsity Basketball but several factors came into play.

It is Belladonna's belief that the coach plans to retire after this year.  According to Belladonna, he plans to go out in a blaze of glory.  Most coaches attempt to balance the needs of the current season against the needs of the program, i.e., future years.  A coach who is retiring is tempted to focus more on this year and less on future years.

The Class of 2014 is stacked with talent.  Belladonna is pretty sure she would make the team but is very sure she would ride the bench.  Basically, she would be "the punching bag" the seniors would practice against.

At one point, it looked like twice as many girls intended to try out as there were places available.  The rumor is that the coach intended to avoid the confrontation of cutting girls by running them until they puked....then girls would volunteer to quit.

Many costs.  Very little pay-back.

Word got around.  It sounds like eleven girls showed up for the fifteen slots.  It is a case of thinking individuals making rational decisions.  The coach made his decisions.  The girls made theirs. 

Rational Expectations is one reason why central planning fails.  People anticipate consequences and move out from beneath the falling piano.

What now?

Her new plan is to have a life, work on her grades and check out indoor Track-and-Field.  Foregoing those activities were the cost of playing Basketball. 

The trainer for indoor Track and Field is a fantastic guy named Jim Fast.  Belladonna said that she went to two work-outs and he quickly identified where she needs to focus. 

She called me up when she made her decision.  She sounded a little hesitant to tell me about it.  Frankly, I am tickled with her thinking through "What do I want?"  and then figuring out "How do I get it?"  Those are two very important questions.


  1. That is one very astute young lady. You'd done well in raising her. Best of luck to her, no matter what she chooses.

    1. I will share that with her.

      I wish I could take more credit for raising her but she was born smart, strong and with a sunny disposition. A friend of Mrs ERJ nailed it when she described Belladonna as, "She is a natural 'Encourager'."

      The decision to not play basketball was not pain free. She agonized, in part because she felt a sense of loyalty and obligation.

      Yes, she is a great kid.

      Thanks for reading. Thanks for taking the time to comment.