Estimation of Productivity Change of NBA Teams from 2006-07 to 2012-13 Seasons

Plácido Moreno and Sebastián Lozano

The aim of this work is to evaluate the productivity change of the NBA teams during the last seven seasons (from 2006-07 to 2012-13). Within that period of time, a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) of the National Basketball Association (NBA) was ratified before season 2011-12, ending a 161-day lockout. The Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) has been used to measure the total factor productivity, while an input-oriented Network DEA approach is used to compute the distance of each observation to the corresponding frontier. The results reveal that there has been technological progress for the last few seasons, excluding that of the 2011 lockout, and an increasing efficiency change. This means that best practices are improving and that most teams have been reducing their payrolls to catch up with these practices, thus backing up the owners’ proposal to reduce players’ income. Also regression results show that changes in the number of wins are more dependent upon scale efficiency change than upon budget or efficiency changes.