Why Do Research in Sports Economics

This past week Justin Wolfers was guest blogging at Marginal Revolution.  In one of his many interesting posts Wolfers asked the question: Why do economists work on sports? To this question, Wolfers provided the following six answers (my thoughts, along with the wisdom of JC Bradbury, are below):

Doing the Same Thing in Atlanta?

The Atlanta Hawks in 2005-06 scored 103.5 points and surrendered 108.5 points per possession.  So their efficiency differential – offensive efficiency minus defensive efficiency (103.46-108.52) – was -5.1.  In 2006-07 this team scored, again per 100 possessions, 99.8 points while surrendering 104.9.  This gives the team an efficiency differential of …

A Look Back at the Lakers and Blazers from 1999-2000

Ryan Schwan, of The New Orleans Hornets Fan (thehornetsfan.blogspot.com), posted the following comment yesterday (to the Washington Wizards: The Anti-Nets post): Just a thought I had while reading this – back when Portland had that famous meltdown in game 7 of the Western Conference finals against the Lakers – those …

Week Four QB Score and RB Score Rankings

Overall and Week Four QB Score Rankings Overall and Week Four RB Score Rankings  The Quarterback Stories After three weeks the defending NFC Champions were 1-2.  Looking at the Bears roster it appeared obvious where the problem was.  Rex Grossman, the team’s quarterback, had a QB Score per play of …

The Washington Wizards: The Anti-Nets

Yesterday’s column – titled The Nets Surrender – was intended to make two points.  First, player performance in the NBA – relative to the NFL and MLB – is quite consistent.  Consequently we have a much better idea of how an NBA team will do before a season starts than …

A New Banner Thanks to Jeremy Britton

Last night I got an e-mail from Jeremy Britton.  Jeremy – a loyal reader of the WoW Journal – noted that he liked some recent posts.  He then noted the recent brief change in this blog’s presentation.  After noting he didn’t like those now discarded changes, he then moved on …

The Nets Surrender

As the Mets have learned over the past few weeks, baseball is unpredictable.  Until the games are played you are never quite sure what will happen. To an even larger extent unpredictability rules the National Football League.  Four games into the season and supposed Super Bowl contenders like the Saints …

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Night

Here is a blog post that kind of got away from me.  It’s Saturday night and I had a few thoughts about what to write about. Rather than choose, though, I decided to just cram all my ideas into one column.  So the following will start with a conversation I …

Statistical Analysis vs. Human Experts

Can statistical analysis best human judgment?  This is one of the arguments that we make in The Wages of Wins.  And we have seen that this one argument has been greeted by a bit of skepticism from some of our readers (and others who have never read our book).  Typically, …