Real World Economics - Singapore HK Travel Bubble

Real World Economics Applied: Rational Decision Making – To Hong Kong or not?

GovernorReal World Applications Leave a Comment

Singapore and Hong Kong have reached an agreement on an air-travel bubble slated to start on 26th May 2021.

Rational decision making requires marginal cost and benefit analysis as per Singapore Cambridge A Level H2 Economics Syllabus and also H1 Economics Syllabus. That is the most critical aspect and in doing so, with consideration of information required, possible constraints, intended and unintended consequences as well as different perspectives.

So I decided to apply this in a brainstorming session with my wife (Still Finance Minister, refused to step down even though unelected) over a possible trip to HK.

Additional Costs:

Flight cost

Accommodation Cost

Covid-testing costs

Spending in HK (over and above what I would usually spend in Sg during the June hols)


Me: “What if kenna tested positive on arrival in HK?”

Me: “What if Kenna Covid from HK and then have to quarantine in Sg and become sick?”

Wife: More polluted air in HK…healthcare costs and productivity losses

Me: Getting slashed or mugged in HK after publishing this post

(In short, quite a lot of potential healthcare costs and loss of income)

Wife: “Are you paranoid”?

Additional Benefits:

Me: “Like nothing hor”

Wife: “The shopping experience is better”

Me: “Oh, marginally…”

Me trying: “Greater utility from enjoying different and better food” (hearsay)

Wife “Show off to friends and students. Make them envious. Feel-good.”

Me: ???

Me: “A getaway from usual routine. More relaxed, less stress” (hearsay)


Need to gather info to ascertain costs

What is air quality like in HK now?

Are the famous eateries opened?


Lessons are still ongoing. Fortunately, online but still concerned about disruptions.

Wife: “it’s ok, we can leave you in the hotel room”

Are flights still available? Wife: “yeah la, talk so much still don’t quickly book”.

Intended Consequences:

Have a break from usual routine. Relaxation. Stress relief.

More family time conflicts

Unintended Consequences:

Kenna Covid or Kenna tested positive 

Wife: “maybe you don’t have, but when they see your face, they think you have”.


Me: “How about staycation lah?” (Wife <cold stare>)

Me: “I wonder what children will think if only 2 of us go?”

Me: “What about your boss? If you kenna quarantine, she will be happy meh?”

Me: “Or only you go lor? I am famous, everyone knows me but nobody will recognise you ma” 

(Discussion ended abruptly)

Decision ?

Me: “Dear, calm down. I am just doing this as an exercise for my students. It’s not real.”

Wife: “You better get yourself a staycation!”

So that’s our attempt at applying RDM framework. This is how students learn through our JC Economics Tuition classes. Feel free to share your comments! And check out other Econs resources + Econs Videos too!

About The Economics Tutor

Founded by Kelvin Hong in 1998, The Economics Tutor is one of the leading economics tuition in Singapore. We provide a comprehensive program to guide students in understanding complex economic concepts and applying them through case study analyses, essay writing and discussion of real world events.

For 24 years, the way we teach JC Economics Tuition (A Level Economics Tuition) and IB Economics Tuition classes helped learners appreciate economics and everything it entails on a much larger scale. We take things step-by-step, implement effective techniques in memorising frameworks and give every student the chance to nurture their ideas. 

We don’t just solely focus on helping you get stellar grades and perfect scores. We make sure that we also hone the critical thinking skills and investment / business decisions you can use outside the four walls of your classroom.

Looking for a fun, engaging and probably the best economics tutor in Singapore? Look no further—check out our extensive and high quality economics resources on the website such as our IB and A Level Economics Publications

Book your lesson today and master the nuances of economics in our next class!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *