nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2014‒07‒13
two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Positional WAR in the National Football League By Cory Koedel; Andrew Hughes; Joshua A. Price
  2. Sentiment Bias and Asset Prices: Evidence from Sports Betting Markets and Social Media By Arne Feddersen; Brad Humphreys; Brian Soebbing

  1. By: Cory Koedel (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Andrew Hughes; Joshua A. Price
    Abstract: We estimate positional "wins above replacement" (WAR) in the National Football League (NFL). Positional WAR measures the value of players in the NFL, by position, in terms of generating wins. WAR is a commonly used metric to evaluate individual players in professional baseball and basketball in the United States, but to the best of our knowledge this is the first study to construct WAR measures for American football. A key challenge in constructing these measures is that individual statistics for many football players are not as well-developed as in baseball and basketball. Related to this point, the productivity of individual football players, perhaps more than players in any other major sport, is highly dependent on context. We circumvent issues related to measuring productivity for individual players by constructing WAR measures at the position rather than individual level. The identifying variation that we leverage in our study is generated by arguably exogenous player injuries and suspensions. Using data from three seasons and all 32 NFL teams, we show that the most valuable positions in the NFL are quarterback, wide receiver, tight end/fullback and offensive tackle. Perhaps our most surprising finding is that positional WAR for all positions on the defensive side of the football is zero
    Keywords: Positional Wins Above Replacement, Positional WAR, WAR in American football, positional value in American football
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2014–06–15
  2. By: Arne Feddersen (University of Southern Denmark, Department of Environmental and Business Economics); Brad Humphreys (West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics); Brian Soebbing (Louisiana State University, School of Kinesiology)
    Abstract: Previous research using attendance-based proxies for the number of investors with sentiment bias supported the presence of investor sentiment in sports betting markets. We use data from social media (Facebook \Likes") to proxy for participants with investor sentiment and analyze variation in prices set by bookmakers for evidence of influence from investor sentiment. Based on prices and outcomes over two seasons in seven professional sports leagues in Europe and North America, we develop new evidence that asset prices reflect the presence of investor sentiment in these markets, or that bookmakers believe they exist, by offering favorable betting lines for popular teams. Favorable prices do not translate into a higher probability of winning a bet.
    Keywords: investor sentiment, sports betting, social media
    JEL: L81 G14
    Date: 2013–09

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