nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2009‒01‒17
two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Efficient Production of Wins in Major League Baseball By Brian Volz
  2. The Games We Used to Play: An Application of Survival Analysis to the Sporting Life-course By Lunn, Pete

  1. By: Brian Volz (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) is applied to Major League Baseball salary and performance data from 1985 to 2006 in order to identify those teams which produced wins most efficiently and the characteristics which lead to efficient production. It is shown that on average both National and American League teams over allocate the most resources to first basemen. Additionally, it is found that National League teams should allocate significantly more resources towards starting pitching while American League teams should allocate significantly more resources toward second base. It is also observed that efficient teams use younger less experienced players and employ rosters with a greater number of previous all star appearances.
    Keywords: Baseball, DEA, Efficiency
    JEL: L83 D24
    Date: 2008–12
  2. By: Lunn, Pete (ESRI)
    Abstract: In the absence of longitudinal data, recall data is used to examine participation in sport. Techniques of survival analysis are adapted and applied to illuminate the dynamics of sporting life. The likelihood of participation has a distinct pattern across the life-course, rising to a peak at 15 years of age, falling sharply in late teenage years and more gradually during adulthood. Logistic regressions and Cox regressions reveal strong effects on participation of gender, cohort and socioeconomic status, which vary over the life-course and by type of sport. The findings add significantly to previous work and have implications for policymakers wishing to increase physical activity.
    Keywords: Sporting participation/Health/Survival analysis/Recall data
    Date: 2009–01

This nep-spo issue is ©2009 by Joao Carlos Correia Leitao. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.