Monday, August 16, 2010

Empirical Sports Economics

Here at the University of Iowa I have the good fortune to teach a class called Sports Economics. Typically these types of classes apply microeconomic theory to the sports industry, by looking at competitive balance, labor market issues and the like. This is a good way to teach the class, but a method that I choose not to follow.

I choose to teach Sports Economics using empirical research on various sports economic topics, such as competitive balance, team and player productivity and especially decision-making by sports teams. This requires greater emphasis on statistically analysis, which I cover at the beginning of the class. Sometimes students seem to miss the big picture - bogged down with so many statisical measures and results - but here is a rather good article on the types of questions that an empirically based approach to sports can provide, that you will not find in a class that is theoretically based, and that is the effect of sports injuries on team performance.

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