BerriBradbury2010

BerriBradbury2010 - Journal of Sports Economics...

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http://jse.sagepub.com Journal of Sports Economics DOI: 10.1177/1527002509354891 2010; 11; 29 Journal of Sports Economics David J. Berri and John Charles Bradbury Working in the Land of the Metricians http://jse.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/11/1/29 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: The North American Association of Sports Economists can be found at: Journal of Sports Economics Additional services and information for http://jse.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://jse.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://jse.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/11/1/29 Citations at SOUTHERN UTAH UNIV LIB on March 27, 2010 http://jse.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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Working in the Land of the Metricians David J. Berri, 1 and John Charles Bradbury 2 Abstract The research of sports economists often addresses issues of interest to nonacademics. Theshared interests oftenleadtointeractionsthathavebenefitsandcosts.Thebenefits center on nonacademic research—found in the ‘‘sabermetric’’ and ‘‘APBRmetric’’ communities—that can inform the work of academic economists studying sports. However, nonacademic research should be interpreted with caution because it is not subject to an academic peer review. This essay discusses how economists can benefit from sabermetric advances while avoiding its pitfalls. Keywords sports economics, research methods, baseball, basketball, sabermetrics Introduction Across the last decade, the field of sports economics has expanded from an occa- sional published paper to a field with its own journals and organizations. Economists are attracted to this field partly because it is blessed with an abundance of data on worker productivity. As Lawrence Kahn (2000, p. 75) observes, ‘‘There is no research setting other than sports where we know the name, face, and life history of every production worker and supervisor in the industry.’’ Another facet of sports is equally alluring: many economists—who were proba- bly sports fans before they became economists—simply find sports to be extremely 1 Department of Economics and Finance, Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah 2 Department of Health, Physical Education, and Sport Science, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia Corresponding Author: David J. Berri, Department of Economics and Finance, Southern Utah University, 351 West University Boulevard, Cedar City, UT 84720. Email: berri@suu.edu Journal of Sports Economics 11(1) 29-47 ª The Author(s) 2010 Reprints and permission: http://www. sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1527002509354891 http://jse.sagepub.com 29 at SOUTHERN UTAH UNIV LIB on March 27, 2010 http://jse.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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interesting. This second reason is often downplayed by sports economists; after all, nonsports fans often sit in judgment of this research. If the research findings are not relevant to economists in general, the academic community will ignore them. As Jewell (2006, p. 10) recently stated, ‘‘It is incumbent upon sports economists to
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BerriBradbury2010 - Journal of Sports Economics...

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