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Basketball Stories

The Law of One Price

Once upon a time I studied international trade.  In fact, my dissertation with Terry Ozawa at Colorado State consisted of an examination of trade flows between Asia and the United States.  Although I have spent much of my career researching the economics of sports, I still remember a bit of …

Yglesias and the Least Valuable MVP

On June 7 Matthew Yglesias wrote a column for Slate.com, boldly entitled “Least Valuable MVP” where he made the following argument: “The conventional wisdom says that great players in general, and Nash in particular, make their teammates better. But in the case of the Mavericks, Nash made Nowitzki—the team's best …

The Law of Diminishing Returns in the NBA

Very few ideas in economics rate the title “Law.” The idea of diminishing marginal returns is one of these. For those who did not take an introductory economics class in high school or college, or simply forgot the formal definition, here is what this law states: As one increases a …

Writing for the New York Times

Last Sunday I posted a list of items I would write about last week. The week has ended and it turns out I wrote, let me see… okay, none of these.  The week ended and I posted zero new items. I do have an excuse.  On Monday morning I received …

Jesse Kellerman Likes Our Book

A few days ago we received the following e-mail from Jesse Kellerman.  “Great book!  I read it in a single afternoon.  Not only is it well-conceived, well-supported, and funny, it provokes lots and lots of fascinating questions–I closed it more curious and full of thoughts than when I opened it.  …

This Week at The Wages of Wins Journal

This is finals week at California State University–Bakersfield, the location of my day job (and I guess night since I taught classes at night this quarter). I mention this because although I have many issues I wish to comment on at The Wages of Wins Journal, my real job often …

Commenting on the NBA Finals

Also posted at The Sports Economist The NBA, relative to the other major sports leagues, tends to suffer from a lack of competitive balance.  One way to see this, though (as I have noted before) not the only or perhaps the best way, is the distribution of championships in The …

A Clarification on Rodman and Jordan

As I noted in  The Case for Michael Jordan, we do not say in The Wages of Wins that Dennis Rodman was “better” than Michael Jordan.  Matthew Yglesias, a writer for the American Prospect, has confirmed that story.  Today he wrote the following at his blog: A Clarification Since I'm …