Thursday, May 31, 2007

Income Gap: A Research

Two researches are listed;

(1) T. Piketty, E. Saez,

The evolution of top incomes : a historical and international perspectives, American Economic Review, 2006

(2) David H. Autor, Lawrence F. Katz and Melissa S. Kearney,

Measuring and interpreting trends in economic inequality, American Economic Review, 2006

The Coase Theorem: A Review

I found an interesting post; John Lott, a economist of SUNY-Binghamton, gives the following comment:

When Greg (Gregory Mankiw) made the claim about the Coase theorem only applying when transaction costs are zero with the note that when transaction costs are positive it matters who we give the property rights to.

That is not quite right. The Coase theorem implies that if the transaction costs are less than the gains from trade it doesn't matter who we assign property rights to. Similarly, I wish that Russell (Russell Roberts) had raised the point that the market will solve externality problems, not just when transaction costs are zero, but when they are less than the gains from trade.

What does the Coase theorem mean?

Mankiw's famous introductory economics textbook says, "the Coase theorem* is the proposition that if private parties can bargain without cost over the allocation of resources, they can solve the problem of externalities on their own." [Mankiw(2007), Principles of Economics, 4th ed., pp210-211.]

There Mankiw considers a simple problem: Dick owns a dog named Spot. Spot barks and disturbs Jane, Dick's neighbor. Dick gets a benefit from owning the dog, but the dog confers a negative externality on Jane.

Question: Should Dick be forced to send Spot to the pound, or should Jane have to suffer sleepless nights because of Spot's barking?

To solve the above problem, we compare the benefit that Dick gets from the dog to the cost that Jane bears from the barking. If the benefit exceeds the cost, it is efficient for Dick to keep the dog and for Jane to live with the barking. Yet if the cost exceeds the benefit, then Dick should get rid of the dog.

According to the Coase theorem, if Jane can offer to pay Dick to get rid of the dog and if Dick accepts the deal(or if the amount of money Jane offers is greater than the benefit of keeping the dog), the barking problem will be solved.

Of course, we can consider another possible solution: if Dick can offer to pay Jane to allow him to keep the dog and if Jane accepts the deal(or if the amount of money Dick offers is greater than the benefit of peace and quiet), it will also be solved.

What makes difference between the two solutions? It is just only whether Dick has the right to a barking dog and Jane the right to peace and quiet. But in either case they can reach the efficient solution, according to the Coase theorem: Dick and Jane can always solve the barking(externality) problem and reach the efficient outcome by bargaining over the price whether Dick has the right to a barking dog and Jane the right to peace and quiet.

The Coase theorem says the efficient amount of the good involved in the externality(the barking or peace and quiet) is independent of the distribution of property rights (Dick's right to a barking dog and Jane's right to peace and quiet.) if there are no income effects.

That is, it means that the demands for the good causing the externality(Dick's dog) doesn't depend on the distribution of income (Dick's and Jane's income). Therefore a reallocation of endowments doesn't affect the efficient amount of the externalities. [Hal Varian(2003), Intermediate Microeconomics, 6th ed., pp607-608.]

However, if they incur some cost in the process of the agreement and the bargain, they sometimes fail to solve the barking problem. The cost is usually called transaction cost and is the question to ask here.

Here's the point that Lott raised: The Coase theorem implies that if the transaction costs are less than the gains from trade it doesn't matter who we assign property rights to.

Mankiw says in his text, "The Coase theorem applies only when the interested parties have no trouble reaching and enforcing an agreement."

In my sight, the statement that "no trouble reaching and enforcing an agreement" is no better than that "no transaction costs in reaching and enforcing an agreement". If it is right, Lott suggests that Mankiw state that the Coase theorem applies if there are "less transaction costs than benefit in reaching and enforcing an agreement."

However, Mankiw says later in his text that if the benefit of solving the barking problem is less than the transaction cost Dick and Jane might choose to leave the problem unsolved. [Mankiw, pp211] In this case it matters who we give the property rights to and the Coase theorem doesn't apply.

In this point, Lott is the same as Mankiw, I guess. I would like to listen to both about that.

* The Coase theorem comes from Ronald Coase, an emeritus professor at the University of Chicago Law School and a Nobel winner of economics in 1991.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Thousand Winds

(Author Unknown)

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the star shine of the night.

I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

What do you feel from the above poem? In Japan it has become very popular. It is very short and very refreshing, I think. It is not only about the death of the loved, but the words from the death.

However, there's no sadness but a piece of invariable law in it; in the long run, we are all a thousand winds.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

At A Loss For My Way

Two years ago I was at a loss for my own way to go next in my life. After I graduated from Osaka University, I worked for a small company for a while. While working there, I found what I was doing wasn't what I'd wanted to do since I was the first college student, so I quit the job.

I'd wanted to write and speak as a career and then I started the job of writing at the company. But, as is usual, the job I was given there wasn't what I had heard at a job interview.

To speak precisely, I misunderstood it: It wasn't to write but to make a phone call to as many companies as I can. Certainly it is to speak in public that is my another thing I've wanted to, but it doesn't need my experience at the university and at the other jobs I've done before.

It's not to speak for any other person, but to speak for our own profit. I spoke to unknown people through the phone to find new customers for our service. For that purpose, I was asked to do anything.

However, the job experience is never worthless in my life, I guess. It's the way I had to go through. Actually it made me find it much clearer what I want to, and I've prepared for studying abroad since I quit it. I wanted to go to the US grad school to join the educational activities as my own career. For example, I want to teach and to write some research reports at university or at college. About more than one year have been passed since I started.

Now I am not at a loss for my way to go. I can see clearly the way in front of me. It is a waste of time to think over whether to go or not.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Master Degree

I got the master degree at Osaka University two years ago. However, this master degree doesn't guarantee my proficiency in economics analysis.









Note; I'm looking for good math text on the internet. If you know about some good materials on math available to economics, please let me know!

Monday, May 21, 2007



ニコチン依存度があまり高くない喫煙者には、価格や健康情報も禁煙を試みる動機になった。依存度別の調査は国内初という。 喫煙者616人(平均40歳)を対象に昨年5月にインターネット上で行ったアンケートを分析した。ニコチン依存度を「起床後、いつ最初に吸うか」などによって、高▽中▽低度に3分類。たばこ価格を300円(現状)▽400円▽600円▽800円と変えたり、公共の場での罰金の有無、吸わない家族が肺がんになる可能性など、さまざまな条件を設定して、「やめるか、吸い続けるか」を聞いた。 

高度依存者は価格が欧米並みの600円になっても、禁煙を試みる率は30.2%(中度63%、低度78.1%)だった。ところが800円になると、高度67.9%▽中度93.4%▽低度96%に。価格以外の要素は、高度依存者にはほとんど禁煙促進効果はなかった。一方、中低度依存者は「喫煙による死亡リスク」が高まるほど禁煙を試みる率も上がった。 研究成果は、英科学誌「タバココントロール」と厚生労働省の学術誌「厚生の指標」に近く掲載される。
【鶴谷真】 5月21日



ニコチン依存度が高いヘビースモーカーは、3倍近い800円になっても、3人に1人は禁煙を考えないなど「頑固」だという。 20歳以上の男女1022人に対して、インターネットを通じて、喫煙の有無やニコチン依存度、禁煙を考えるきっかけとなる事柄などについて調査し、行動解析した。依存度を考えた研究は日本で初めて。 「朝起きて5分以内に喫煙する」などの高度ニコチン依存者は、たばこ価格が現在の2倍の600円程度になっても、禁煙を考えるのは30・2%だったが、中度で63・0%、低度では78・1%と、依存度が低いほど禁煙効果が高いことが分かった。低中度の場合、「喫煙による死亡リスク」「家族の肺がんリスク」などが高く見積もられた情報を知っても禁煙を考えるが、高度依存者は判断材料にしていなかった。 

喫煙者と非喫煙者それぞれの行動傾向についても解析した。100円で確率2分の1のギャンブルをするかしないかを選ぶとき、非喫煙者は期待する賞金が269円でないと選ばないが、喫煙者は214円で選び、ギャンブル好きな傾向があるという。「ギャンブラー的傾向がたばこのせいなのか、そういう人が喫煙しているのかは分からない」(依田教授)という。 西村副学長らは「思い切った値上げが禁煙を考えさせることが分かった」といい、実際に禁煙行動につながるのか、何が禁煙の成否に関係するのか、さらに研究を進める。










Sunday, May 20, 2007

Up Or Down?

Now the Japanese economy has been said to be going up. However many people still don't think so. I'll pick up the related articles from three big newspapers in Japan, Yomiuri, Asahi and Mainichi.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The uptrend in personal spending and exports contributed to boosting GDP, the report says. The GDP is the value of all the goods and services produced in a country.
The quarter-on-quarter growth in GDP for nine consecutive quarters was marked for the first time in 10 years since the previous record set from the January-March period of 1995 to the corresponding period of 1997.

Analysts said this indicates that the current business expansion, the longest in the postwar period, is firm. Nominal GDP--calculated based on current prices--for the January-March period rose 0.3 percent over the previous quarter or at an annualized 1.2 percent, marking a quarterly growth for the second straight quarter, but the growth rate was half that recorded for the real GDP. The real GDP growth rate for fiscal 2006, which ended on March 31, stood at 1.9 percent, the same growth rate as projected by the government.

Hiroko Ota, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, told a press conference Thursday after announcing the preliminary report on the GDP, "It's too early to say the country has emerged from deflation, although departure from it is in sight." The government earlier set the goal of declaring a "departure from deflation" in fiscal 2006.

A breakdown of the January-March quarter GDP by demand showed that private consumption, which accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP, climbed 0.9 percent over the previous quarter, registering growth for the second straight quarter. The growth is attributable to the brisk business performance of the fast-food and restaurant industries, and favorable sales of beer and other drinks due to the unusually warm winter. Exports jumped 3.3 percent in the January-March quarter, surpassing the growth rate of 0.8 percent recorded in the previous quarter to mark the eighth straight quarterly growth. Plant and equipment investments dropped 0.9 percent for the first decline in five quarters, a result caused mainly by the drop in investments in communication business and car production. (May. 18, 2007)

The Asahi Shimbun
The nation's economy continued on its record-setting period of expansion, but analysts warn that is still too early to break out the bubbly. They say a number of factors remain problematic, including shrinking corporate spending on plants and equipment and a possible future slump in consumer spending.

Japan's real gross domestic product increased by an annualized 2.4 percent in the January-March quarter, or by 0.6 percent from the previous quarter, according to the Cabinet Office's preliminary report released Thursday.

The seasonally adjusted figures represent the ninth straight quarter of expansion, fueled by growth in personal spending and exports. Although the annualized growth rate exceeded the government's estimated potential growth rate of nearly 2 percent, it was still less than half of the 5 percent rate recorded in the December-October quarter in 2006. The government boasts that the current economic expansion has exceeded the Izanagi boom, which lasted a then record 57 months from 1965 to 1970.

But analysts warn that the current economy lacks dynamism. In fact, some key components weakened in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Corporate investments in factories and equipment, which had been the driving force in the recent recovery, declined by 0.9 percent from the October-December period, when the figure jumped by 2.3 percent. The shrinkage underscored a lack of confidence in the electronics and communications industries, as well as among automakers.
Personal consumption, which accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP, increased by 0.9 percent in the January-March period thanks to the warm winter, according to the Cabinet Office's report. Sluggish consumer spending had long been blamed for the previous economic doldrums. But the rate has been recovering since the July-September quarter of 2006, when spending declined 1 percent.

For the January-March quarter, the warm winter encouraged consumers to spend more on dining out, alcoholic beverages and recreation. However, a Cabinet Office official said the warm weather was about the only factor that contributed to the growth in household spending.
The 0.9-percent growth in personal consumption was, in fact, lower than the 1.1-percent increase recorded in the previous quarter. The declining growth rate--coupled with the sluggish hike in workers' wages--has fueled doubts that personal consumption will stay on track for a sustainable recovery.

Under the central government policy of transferring tax sources worth 3 trillion yen to local governments, the national income tax on individuals has been lowered since January. But local resident taxes will be raised in June to offset the reduction in the national income tax rate. That increase will push down personal consumption by 0.4 percentage point in the July-September period, according to the think tank. "It is too early to determine that personal consumption has fully recovered when considering temporary factors, such as the warm winter and the tax effects," said Takahide Kiuchi, a senior economist of the institute. Exports rose sharply, by 3.3 percent, in the January-March quarter, and contributed to 0.4 percentage point in the 0.6-percent GDP growth. Exports of electronics, communications machinery and chemical products increased to China and Europe. But exports to the United States and Southeast Asia declined.
And deflation has not been licked. The GDP deflator, an index indicating overall price trends, fell by 0.6 percent in fiscal 2006 from a year earlier.
(IHT/Asahi: May 18,2007)

The Mainichi Shimbun
Japan's economy expanded for a ninth-straight quarter from January to March, but the pace of growth in the world's second-largest economy began to slow.
Compared to the previous quarter, the economy expanded 0.6 percent, the Cabinet Office said Thursday. If maintained for a full year, the economy would grow 2.4 percent, just below the 2.6 percent forecast by economists surveyed by Dow Jones News wires.

While the increase marks the ninth straight quarter of growth, the pace slowed from a 5.5 percent annualized growth rate in the October-December period. That was the fastest growth rate logged by Japan in three years.

Japan has staged a recovery from more than a decade of economic stagnation, with help from healthy exports and an increase in domestic consumption. But stable growth is still vulnerable to a possible slowdown in the United States, the world's largest economy and a major market for Japanese exporters. Just last month, the United States reported its worst economic growth in four years on concern that troubles in the U.S. housing market will trigger a recession. The economy crawled at a 1.3 percent pace in the opening quarter of 2007.

Also sapping strength from Japan in the January-March quarter, the country's fiscal first period, was a 0.9 percent drop in business investment. That marked a sharp reversal from a 2.3 percent increase in the previous quarter.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than half the economy, climbed 0.9 percent from the previous quarter, but the pace of expansion slowed too, from 1.1 percent in October-December.
Exports helped offset slowdowns in other sectors, shooting up 3.3 percent. They rose a meager 0.8 percent in the previous quarter. (AP)
(May 17, 2007)

My insight is that the economy depends on the aggregate demand. As macroeconomics says, the economy would go up faster than the reports say if the demand were even stronger. The fast-increasing growth is not so important to us, but it is important that we can be satisfied with the present condition of the economy and our life. The critical question is: are you happy with your life?

How To Make More Profit

09/10/2010 revised

I recognized an accurate way of calculating a profit rate, which salespersons need to know in their business.

What is a profit? We should go back to Econ10:

(1) (Profit) = (Revenue) - (Cost)

=(Selling Price)×(Goods) - (Cost Per Good)×(Goods)

= {(Selling Price) - (Cost Per Good)}×(Goods)

And what is a profit rate?

(Profit rate) = {(Selling Price) - (Cost)}/(Selling Price)

The above math is easy to tackle. However, a calculation related to a decimal should be necessary to take a good care for; a cup of tea sells for $10 in your cafeteria (You don't have to say it is too expensive, but it's just an example to make myself understood easily!) and its cost is $5.

What is the fraction that they can take? What do you think is the profit rate?

(Profit rate) = (10-5)/10=0.5

This tells that
just a half of the selling price is what they can take.

Consider this case: I would like to add a 50% profit to the cost of a cup of tea and find the selling price. We can get it by increasing the cost by 50%. It's easy to calculate:

(Selling Price) = (Cost)×(1+Profit Rate)

In this way I get 7.5: (Selling Price)=5×(1+0.5)=7.5

It is less than the above selling price, $10. Why? If we want to find the reason, we must solve the selling price from (1):

(Selling Price) = (Cost)/{1-(Profit Rate)}

Now I get $10 by selling a cup of tea. This is one of the frequent miscalculations. To sum up, if you want to get 50% profit, do not multiply the cost by the gross profit rate, (1+Profit Rate), but divide it by (1-Profit Rate). Otherwise you will lose a big money in your business.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Cost of Murder

Recently I've heard of some news that depress me greatly. I wonder how easily one can kill the other. It's a very awful case that a high school student killed his mother and cut off the head. Here are the excerpts:

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A 17-year-old high school student in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, arrested on suspicion of murdering his mother allegedly cut off her right arm as well as her head, police said Wednesday.
(May. 17, 2007)

The two other cases are:

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A 30-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of abandoning the body of his former wife in Osaka Bay off Kobe, police said.
The police identified the body found Friday in a bag floating in the bay

(May. 16, 2007)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man was arrested Monday after he allegedly strangled his wife Sunday night, apparently when they quarreled over obscene images she discovered on his cell phone,.... but the charges were upgraded to murder.

(May. 8, 2007)

And here's the question:

Question: Why does a person kill the other person or himself/herself?

Economics may tell the reason: When the (marginal) benefit of killing a man is greater than the (marginal) cost of that, a murder will occur.

What's the benefit of murder? For example, by killing a person the murder can feel better. However, a murder doesn't usually think of the risk of being copped. Being caught robs him of his freedom of action and makes him fall into jail for long time. In this regard, the lifetime stream of cost of being in jail is far greater than the benefit of murder. But I wonder why one kills the other.

I think a murder can't think of his future in his life, or can only look ahead in the short run. He is shortsighted. And so he can murder. He can't behave optimally as economics suggests, and he tends to satisfy his unforeseen desire to kill a mam.

If the benefit of murder were greater than the cost of that and one really killed the other, what would prevent the killing?

From the viewpoint of public policy, one of the possibilities of preventing murder is to raise the cost to murder. For example, to put a murder to death is a strong deterrent to murder. Some pursuing the preservation of human rights disagree with this suggestion greatly, but I would ask them if a murder has the human rights. He kills a person who has the human rights as well and infringes the right of living. Should we protect his own human rights?

I suggest the death be given to a murder promptly to keep our society from awful murder. This is a better way to reduce the murder in our society.

Thursday, May 17, 2007



その中で、非常に興味深い概念を知った。「価値相関図」である。詳しくは本を買って読んでください。 ただ、どんなものかだけは紹介しよう。




Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Terminator From the University of Wisconsin

The famous American actor and the governor of California, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger graduated from the University of Wisconsin.

He earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he graduated with degrees in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979.

I'm happy I am going to the same university this August.




Friday, May 11, 2007










(1) 中国が核武装しないとき、日本は世界が平和であることが何よりも望ましいが、中国に対しては、安全保障上常に優位でありたいと考える。そこで、日本は、「核武装しない」ことよりも、「核武装する」ことを選ぶ。

(2) 中国が核武装するとき、日本は国家の安全を守るため「核武装」を選択する。

(1) 中国は、日本が核武装しないとき、世界が平和であることが何よりも望ましいが、日本に対しては、常に優位でありたいと考える。そこで、中国は、「核武装しない」ことよりも、「核武装する」ことを選ぶ。

(2) 日本が核武装するとき、中国は、国家の安全を守るため「核武装」を選ぶ。


このように、相手がいかなる戦略をとろうとも、自分がとる戦略(ここでは「核武装する」)は変わらない。このような戦略をゲーム理論では、Dominant Strategy 支配戦略 という。


このように、個々にとって「よいこと」が、全体にとって「悪いこと」になってしまうジレンマ(板ばさみ状態)に直面するゲームを Prisoners’ Dilemma Game  囚人のジレンマゲーム と呼ぶ。 


「 核武装しないこと、核放棄を世界に対して宣言する。」



第9条が宣言している「戦力の不保持」は日本のみならず、中国、朝鮮半島を含めた東アジア全体の安全・安定に貢献しているのだ。 また、日本が国の方針として掲げる「非核三原則」も、東アジア周辺国の核開発競争の抑止に一定の役割を担っていると考えられる。


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Macroeconomics & Microeconomics

10/17/08 Revised

As the first-year grad student, I had to take at least two main courses of macroeconomics and microeconomics.

When I was the first-year undergraduate student, one teacher said in his class,

"Microeconomics puts a great trust in a free-market mechanism, while macroeconomics doesn't."

In my guess, his statement came from two English economists, Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes.

Adam Smith believed that a market mechanism was functioning well by stating "an invisible hand" in his famous book, "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations". On the other hand, Keynes was skeptical about such a free market mechanism in his noble book, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money".

Smith guessed that he or she would be rational in a free market economy and thus the economy as a whole would work well. Keynes said that he or she would not always be so rational that the economy could work well enough to avoid recession. Keynes thought that the failure of market such as recession would be inevitable.

Some economists think of Smith as a father of microeconomics, or classical economics, and Keynes as a father of macroeconomics.

However, I disagree with that idea. It isn't to the point! There's no wall between micro and macroeconomics anymore. They have much in common in that they explain the optimization behavior of economic agents; That is, they have shared the idea of individual rationality and incentive.

In their models, a market is often assumed well functioning and well organized too. Under such an unreal assumption, we can examine the working of our economy and the effect of public policy.

Microeconomics analyzes each individual behavior in our economy, while macroeconomics the working of our economy as a whole. Both of them try to solve the economic problems via the static and dynamic optimization theory, which is much more mathematical area than we have generally thought of as economics.


In this morning I was sent a Student Visa. Very quickly they gave it to me. I thought it would take more time for me to have a visa.

Come on, let's go to the unknown world, America!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Producer of Hope?

When I was in the US Consulate, I found that they were keeping a strict watch over us. The photos on the white wall of the President Bush, the Vice-President Cheney, and Miss Rice caught my eye. And the Stars and Stripes told me that I would go to America soon. I thought as if I went to the United States at Osaka.

It is a precious time that I visited the US Consulate. There I saw many people queue up and apply for a visa. I wondered why they were going to America. A mother with her crying little girl, businessmen, young teenage girls, college students, elder women and men, and other Asian people.... and so on, they might have something to do for somebody important or something special.

What kind of hope do they have? What will they see in America? America is the largest country in the world, as you know, and has been always the land of opportunity. Peoples' expectation of being given many opportunities has made more people get there from their home countries. A wide variety of people constitutes the today's America.

However, is America really the land of opportunity? Some people say that America is the imperialism of freedom, democracy and free-market economy to conquer the world.

An imperialism seems to control the order and the mind of the people of the world as a whole, just as the Roman Empire. They say that America is the modern version of the Roman Empire. To them, the President Bush is the Emperor named the President, isn't he? If so, today would be the memorial when I became one of the slaves of the American imperialism!

A professor of my university also said that America was the Empire of the today's world in his lecture and criticized the foreign policy of America, especially,the war on Iraq.

To tell my insight about such a statement, I do not agree that America is an empire.

The President Bush is one ordinary American, not a special man. He was elected by ordinary Americans as well. This is one of the attractive aspects of the United States, I guess. In this regard, America is a special country in the world. (Some people may say that Mr. Bush is from the richest family in Texas and he is special. If you say so, our Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is also born with a silver spoon. )

In some way, I can say that every American can become the most powerful one named the President of the United States.

Our ancestors' strong desire for freedom and democracy made America, as the history says. It has really made many people freedom and wealth. I may be able to say that America is a producer of hope. But, of course, America doesn't give us hope for free. Catching a hope and making our dream come true finally depends on us. It should be never forgotten. I hope I will enjoy being in such a normal and a special country.

One Munite Interview

Today I went to the US Consulate at Osaka. There I applied for a student visa (F-1) and had a short interview.

I thought I would have more difficult questions for me, but they were all easy to answer. Here's the interview I had there:

Madam: Good morning. How long you have been waiting!

Me: Just one hour.

Leaning her head to the right, she took a look at my application form.

I seemed not to make myself understood in English, and once again I tried to reply to her greeting.

Me: One hour. (I thought I was asked how long I had been there.)

Madam: (She nodded.) Okamoto San, shimonn wo torimasu. (I'll take your fingerprints.)

At this time she began to speak Japanese a little, taking my fingerprints with a sensor.

Madam: Thank you.

Me: You're welcome.

Madam: Where do you want to go? (She spoke English again.)

Me: Wisconsin in the US.

Madam: This is the first time to go to America?

Me: Exactly.

Madam: How long will you stay there?

Me: 6 years.

Madam: (Looking at my I-20 form) Wisconsin....., hum,...Milwaukee. Great! I hope you'll have succeeded. Good luck! Good Bye.

Me: Thank you.

This is all one minute interview.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dear Sirs

Tomorrow I am going to the US Consulate General to apply for a US visa. I'll have an interview with a native English speaker there. So I'm nervous.

I'll submit the form, the statement of purpose. This is what I talk briefly about my reason and my plan of studying at US grad school.

Statement of Purpose

May 8, 2007

U.S. Consulate General,

Dear Sirs:
My name is Taro Okamoto. I am applying for F-1 student visa to join the Ph.D. program in Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

My purpose of visiting the US is to study economics. I think the US will provide me with the better place to study economics: The graduate schools in the US have attracted many students from all over the world. A wide variety of students has made them far better. And thus they have produced many economists. The economics program of UW-Milwaukee puts more attention on international economics and thus suits my intellectual interest. I hope I will have a sufficiently intellectual experience at UW-Milwaukee.

My career plan is to be a professor in Japan. I think it would not be easy to find the job as a professor not only in the US but also in Japan, even if I had the Ph.D. from the US graduate school. If I can not find such a kind of job, I will make a living by teaching English and math at cram school in Japan from the experience of my stay at the US graduate school. However, I will try hard to have a career as a university professor. I will get and do the job appropriate to my character even if I can not find the job I want to do.

There should not be any financial problem. I have sufficient funds to pay the first-year tuition and other living expenses. Please see the financial statement from the Post Office and the certificate of scholarship loans appointment from JSSO. Thank you very much for your attention.

Taro Okamoto

Sunday, May 06, 2007





(1) 英語で経済学の研究作法を取得し、専門職(大学教員)に就くこと

(2) 異文化社会での生活を通して、将来のキャリアの可能性を広げること

(3) 人的ネットワークを形成し、見聞を広げること