Sunday, June 10, 2012

"An Economist Watches Basketball"

Another of the blogs we read but don't link to often enough.
From Economists  Do it With Models:
Guess what I’m doing tonight (when I’m supposed to be writing, naturally)…

(sidenote: I dare you to try and make a random XL t-shirt flattering) Go Celtics…hopefully I can switch back to the game 7 thumbs up as opposed to the pouting that was happening on Monday after game 1 versus the Heat. It’s not at all surprising to me that economists like sports more than your average nerds, if for no other reason than a lot of sport ball games lend themselves to analyzing a number of research questions, surprisingly enough. Consider, for example, the “ball don’t lie” concept:
ball don’t lie
A phrase commonly used by professional basketball player Rasheed Wallace; once famously yelled by coach Flip Saunders.
“Ball don’t lie” is said when a player misses one, two or all three of his free throws after a questionable (read as: bullshit) foul call is made by an official. The ball is, essentially, the unbiased judge who will not reward the player by going in if the apparent foul was indeed bullshit.
*Andrew Bogut locks arms with Rasheed Wallace and trips over his own feet, prompting a foul call from the referee*
Rasheed: That’s BULLSHIT, man!
*Andrew Bogut toes the line and proceeds to miss his first free throw*
Rasheed: BALL DON’T LIE!
*Bogut then attempts a second free throw and misses again*
Now, social scientists aren’t inclined to automatically accept conventional wisdom, so obviously some empirical evidence and perhaps a regression or two is in order....MORE