Economics / Health economics / Research / Travel

The Big Short and Demolition: where to go from here

I want to share some thoughts on two movies I’ve watched recently.

The Big Short – a comedy that’s based on real stories during the housing crisis in 2007, and

Demolition – a story about a young and successful PE executive who took a radical turn in his life in search of his true passion and meaning of life after his wife had died in a car crash.

These two movies resonate well with me at a personal level. I studied finance and banking as a undergraduate, and pursued my PhD in Economics in graduate school. In my 3rd  year as I was deciding on my dissertation topics, the housing crisis took place in the U.S. and spread out to the rest of the world. For the first time, I was forced to question what I believed – a path to a good life that promises personal and career success, built on top of rock-solid quantitative reasoning, all of a sudden seemed to me like a highly intelligent crime, a fraud, than anything else.

Fortunately, I was able to complete my dissertation after meeting my academic advisor Dr. Raj Deb when I shifted my research focus from finance to value of life, health investment, and consumer choice within neoclassical economic theory.

This shift has brought me both pain and joy as a researcher in health economics and health outcomes. In this experience, I was enabled to discover my true passion, the meaning of my work and life satisfaction. I consider it my WIN from The Big Short. 🙂


Ph.D. in Economics with interests in Life Science, Behavioral Science, Health Economics Evaluation and Health Technology Assessment. Executive MBA student at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Hong Kong, graduating in 2020.

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