On the Importance of Competitive Balance

Also posted at The Sports Economist  The first round of the NBA playoffs ended on Saturday night.  In eight first-round match-ups the team with the best regular season record won every time.  Contrast that with the NHL playoffs where every top seed in the Western conference lost in the first …

The Law of Diminishing Returns and the NBA

The Phoenix Suns finished the 04-05 season with 62 wins.  Before the 05-06 campaign began the Suns lost three very productive performers – Quentin Richardson, Joe Johnson, and Amare Stoudemire.  How productive were these players?  In our book we detail how the statistics tabulated for the players can be used …

The Passing of a Great Economist

Our book is about applying economics to the study of sports.  In telling our stories, we made mention of a number of economists.  One of the first we mention is John Kenneth Galbraith, who died last Saturday at the age of 97.  On my website I have the picture of …

Rational Actors in Sports

A few weeks ago I noted the research of Cade Massey and Richard Thaler.  At ESPN.com, Tuesday Morning Quarterback – Gregg Easterbrook – casts doubt on the work of these two economists. According to Easterbrook:  “Researchers Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago and Cade Massey of Yale got some …

Thinking about the Lions Draft

My family left Detroit when I was eleven years old and I have only returned once in my life.  Still, I remain a loyal fan of the Detroit Lions.  When you follow a team that has only won one playoff game in your lifetime, the annual NFL draft tends to …

What Takes Them Out to the Ballgame?

The team of Schmidt and Berri – or Berri and Schmidt – has written a dozen academic papers thus far.  Our latest to be published is entitled “What Takes Them Out to the Ballgame” and it appears in the May, 2006 issue of the Journal of Sports Economics.  This work …

Will Detroit win the Stanley Cup?

One of the themes we return to again and again is the idea that teams can buy a championship.  The story is that those who spend the most have the best players, and those with the best players will win the championship.  We talk about how payroll and wins are …

Making Too Much of Early Returns

In Friday’s Boston Globe one sees a good deal of hand wringing by Bob Ryan about the Red Sox’s lack of run production.  Ryan’s column is but one more example of Boston writers worrying of impending doom in Red Sox nation.  According to these writers, doom is upon Red Sox …