Research in Fortune

My sister e-mailed me this weekend to say that my research with Doug Drinen on hit batters , is discussed in the latest issue of Fortune magazine. It’s in an article about recent Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling. Coincidently, Schelling was indirectly a big influence on me because he mentored my former professor Tyler Cowen (of Marginal Revolution fame).

The article mentions Doug and me by description only.

Besides game theory’s world-historical and business significance, it’s worth noting, especially at this time of year, that it actually does apply to games. A scholarly paper by Berkeley economist David Romer showed that NFL coaches punt too often on fourth down. Patriots coach Bill Belichick, the league’s most successful coach in recent years, read the paper and later stunned fans by running on fourth and one—successfully—in the AFC championship game two years ago. In baseball, a study by an economist and a mathematician examined why American League batters get beaned more often than National Leaguers (short answer: The designated-hitter rule leaves pitchers less afraid of retaliation). As poker has exploded in popularity, some of the new champs have been computer-savvy game theoreticians.

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