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by | Aug 23, 2022 | Financial

What a great tag line for a book: “the definitive Freakonomics for sports.” Paul Oyer, an economics professor at Stanford, a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research and editor in chief of the Journal of Labor Economics, has just published An Economist Goes to the Game, a study not just of sports economics, but of how economics thinking can transform the way you think about athletic performance.A blurb describes it quite accurately as “a fun and insightful account of what happens when economic thinking intersects with the world of sports.” The book:
Calculates the return on investment for a talented kid growing up in Dakar, Senegal, focusing on soccer rather than schoolwork.
Explains in economic terms why American women outperform American men in soccer and Korean women outstrip Korean men in golf.
Estimates the likelihood that a particular sprinter is taking performance-enhancing drugs or that a professional tennis match is fixed or that particular basketball team is engaging in point shaving.
Assesses whether it makes economic sense for an especially talented professional athlete to sign a long-term contract.
Some of Oyer’s insight won’t surprise you. No reader will be shocked to learn that public spending on a sports arenas or events like the Olympics is a money-losing proposition. But you may be struck by some of Oyer’s findi …

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