Sports Econ at the SEA

Well, I just returned from the Southern Economic Association (SEA) meeting in New Orleans. I was fortunate enough to spend much of my time going to the sessions on sports. I very much enjoyed hearing other economists applying economics to sports and sports business. Plus, I enjoyed socializing with the group in the big easy. I’m blogging about this because I am just so happy to know that other people see as much economics in sports games as I do. That’s one reason I started this blog. So, I’d like to point readers to some excellent sports econ blogs that I like to read. Most of these talk about things other than sports too, but it’s hard to find an economist who is not persistently applying economic theory to every minute detail in life.

Skip Sauer at Clemson runs The Sports Economist. Skip always has excellent commentary where commentary is needed. Skip presented a paper (co-authored with Jahn Hakes) examining the baseball player market response to Moneyball. You can download a copy of the paper here. Skip and Jahn find that the market that Beane and DePosdesta were exploiting has corrected itself. It’s a neat paper that is bound to land somewhere good.

In the same session that Skip presented his paper, Frank Stephenson (Berry College) of Division of Labour presented his paper on linking home-field advantage in the World Series to player performance in the All-Star game. He finds evidence that players who are more likely to go to the World Series perform at a higher level. I thought this was a pretty neat finding. Frank says his research is still in the early stages, so I look forward to seeing his final results.

Craig Depken (UT-Arlington) of Heavy Lifting presented two interesting papers. One I saw, and the other I missed thanks to the timing of the session. The paper I saw was on the impact of NCAA probation in college football, which is available here. Interestingly, though not surprising, probation does not appear to hurt football revenues. Although, women’s sports and men’s non-revenue sports suffer from diminished resources. The paper I missed, which I really wanted to see, was on pricing interactions of different products at baseball games. Luckily, Craig posted it for download here. I’ll have to take a look shortly.

There were many other interesting papers at the conference, but these guys are the only ones with blogs. Hopefully, some other sports economists will be inspired to join the blogosphere. But, if you are looking for some more sports econ stuff, check out these guys.

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