A Behavioural Economics Analysis of Marathon Finishing Times Using Big Data
(June 9, 2019 – Hong Kong)
A team of Faculty of Business and Economics undergraduate students from The University of Hong Kong (HKU) came out top among 24 competing teams in the world’s largest business case competition jointly presented by HSBC and HKU.
Speaking at the prize presentation ceremony of the 12th HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition (“The Competition”) held on 6 June, Mr Peter Wong, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, told the students to keep an open mind and think globally.
“The future is about connectivity. It is about people coming together and markets opening. The Greater Bay Area’s integration and the Belt and Road Initiative are key drivers of this direction – they will serve the world as global super-connectors. The people, connections and the flow of ideas is how we make these initiatives a success. The best international talent is needed to connect the world and solve business, environmental and social challenges. At HSBC, the culture of a globally connected community is part of our DNA, and that is why we has been supporting this competition, which connects Asia to the rest of the world.”
The Competition is organised by Asia Case Research Centre (ACRC), Faculty of Business and Economics, HKU. Since 2008, it has attracted over 130,000 university students to participate. The Competition aims to bridge the gap between the real business world and the classroom by challenging students to apply problem-solving, analysis and presentation skills to an actual business situation.
Professor Hongbin Cai, Dean of Faculty of Business and Economics, HKU, said, “It is a pleasure to see some of the brightest business leaders of tomorrow at the 12th edition of this unique competition. Throughout the week, students have had the opportunity to interact with their peers and seasoned business executives from around the world. We are confident that the skills, knowledge and networks gained during their stay will benefit them and the society in the years to come!”
The Competition, took place in Hong Kong from 31 May to 6 June, brought together 24 teams from universities globally and more than 60 senior HSBC executives and international business leaders who volunteered as judges. On 30 May, City University of Hong Kong won the Hong Kong Competition and represented the city in the Asia Pacific Competition.
HSBC is committed to investing in people, shaping talent and nurturing tomorrow’s leaders. In addition to the Competition, HSBC awards more than HKD10 million in scholarships every year to over 200 top tertiary education students. This summer, the Bank will hire about 140 university students as interns in Hong Kong so that they can gain practical industry experience and start building their network while at university.
Notes to editors:
Results of the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition 2019
Champion (USD10,000): The University of Hong Kong
First runner-up (USD5,000): Yonsei University (Korea)
Second runner-up (USD2,000): University of Belgrade (Serbia)
During four rounds of intense competition, the teams demonstrated their understanding of business strategies by achieving creative management solutions. They also participated in team-building and training sessions. Top teams of this year were the 12 titleholders representing HSBC local competitions in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Mainland China (North and South), Malaysia, Mauritius, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and France, as well as other invited universities from Canada, Korea, Lebanon, Macau, New Zealand, the Philippines, Serbia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the USA. For more information, please refer to: http://competition.acrc.hku.hk/
Mr Peter Wong (the fifth from the left, front row), Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Professor Terry Au (the forth from the left, front row), Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Staffing and Resources), The University of Hong Kong with the university teams at the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition prize presentation ceremony.
Mr Peter Wong (middle) and Professor Terry Au (the third from the left) present the Championship Award to the winning team from HKU, coached by the advisor Mr. Albert Fung.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group, which serves our customers through four global businesses: Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Global Private Banking. The Group serves customers worldwide in 66 countries and territories in our geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of USD2,659bn at 31 March 2019, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
Asia Case Research Centre, Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong
Tracing its roots back over a century, The University of Hong Kong’s (“HKU”) 210,000 alumni have been at the forefront of community life, providing leadership in government, in commerce and industry, in education, and in the arts, sciences and culture. Globally, HKU has established a solid reputation as a premier international university and a member of the global family of universities. HKU strives to be Asia’s Global University. Our aspiration at the Faculty of Business and Economics is just as ambitious: to be a premier business school in Asia with significant local, regional and global influence.
The Asia Case Research Centre (“ACRC”) is affiliated with the Faculty of Business and Economics at HKU. It was founded in 1997 to address the need for rich business cases with an Asian focus. The ACRC is committed to the advancement of learning and teaching in business education and strives to promote leading management thinking through research on the latest practices in the Asia Pacific business environment. The ACRC is a major producer of quality business cases. It boasts a repository of nearly 600 business case studies developed in collaboration with many of the region’s leading companies.
At a time when nine out of 10 start-ups fail, it is increasingly important to identify the actions and behaviours that are most likely to lead to successful entrepreneurship.
Recently awarded the Ian Davies Professorship in Ethics, Professor Simon S.K. LAM has been conducting research into ethical leadership and entrepreneurship as well as teaching the subject for many years. He believes that the study of business ethics is crucial to understanding what lies behind the poor management decisions that often result in company failures. His research has shown that ethical behaviour is a key foundation stone for a successful business. Ethical behaviour leads to customer buy-in, resulting in higher sales and more profits, stronger employee loyalty, an increase in the company’s appeal as an employer, enhanced appeal to investors who know their money will be wisely spent, and a stronger company reputation.
There is a Chinese saying that goes: “become rich, then be a paragon of virtue (發財立品)”. Professor Lam, however, thinks the opposite. “My research provides strong and clear evidence showing that the ethical behaviour of entrepreneurs can bring substantial and significant benefits to their companies. Start-ups will have a higher survival rate when the management philosophy of the founders is based on ethical practices and behaviour,” he says.
Professor Lam has published 17 A-grade management journal papers in his research areas as well as a best-selling book, “Entrepreneurial Quotient”, published in 2018. “Having conducted years of in-depth research of these cases, I have created a highly practical ‘Entrepreneurial Quotient’ system which has become a pocket guide manual that readers can carry with them for reference on their entrepreneurial journey,” he explains.
Professor Lam is Professor of Management at FBE, as well as Director of the Centre of Asian Entrepreneurship and Business Values, and Head of the Faculty’s Management and Strategy Area. He is also a senior editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Management.
The Ian Davies Professorship in Ethics espouses the qualities of integrity, the spirit and principles of ethics and the sharing of knowledge gained for the betterment of society.
2018年柏林馬拉松剛在上星期日舉行（9月16日），圓滿結束。肯雅選手Eliud Kipchoge打破世界馬拉松紀錄，以2:01:39（2小時1分39秒）跑畢全程42.195公里。新紀錄比上一次紀錄快1分18秒（該紀錄保持者是另一位肯雅選手Dennis Kimetto）。
完成初馬後，不少跑友開始對自己有所要求，而定下完賽時間目標，常以整點內（如4小時內或跑友所謂sub 4）或半點內（如3.5小時內或sub 3:30）為準；目標通常是sub 6、sub 5:30、sub 5、sub 4:30、sub 4、sub 3:30、以至sub 3。
業餘跑手達到sub 3已可算甚高水平，對一般跑友而言已算極限。香港現役馬拉松選手徐志堅在剛落幕的柏林馬拉松打破香港華人馬拉松紀錄，新紀錄為2:24:43（「鳴槍時間」），而「晶片時間」是 2:24:38。對上一次紀錄2:24:52由吳師傅吳輝揚保持超過26年；吳師傅是終身運動好榜樣，現在仍然活躍參與長跑賽事。
他們更運用先進的方法，以「反事實分析」（counterfactual analysis），進一步量化以上研究結果。根據他們的估算，完成時間在整點內一般比完成時間在半點內較為集中，而最明顯的是sub 3。為了sub 3，可以令sub 3完成者「增加」24.2%。
以同一方法，他們估算sub 4、sub 5、sub 6完成者分別「增加」13%、5.5%和3.2%；而sub 3:30、sub 4:30、sub 5:30完成者分別「增加」10.8%、4.5%、2.1%（注意，以上估算純屬根據他們的數據和反事實分析的結果）。
各位讀者、跑友若對上述研究感興趣，不妨參閱以下文章：Reference-Dependent Preferences: Evidence from Marathon Runners, Management Science, Vol. 63, No. 6, June 2017, pp. 1657-1672。