Wen Jhan Jane
Sheng Tung Chen
and Yi Ju Su

This article addresses the issue of contestant heterogeneity (CH) in team efforts in National Basketball Association games for the three seasons from 2013/14 to 2015/16. The results show that two teams’ total efforts regarding rebounds and fouls increase as CH becomes smaller. The evidence thus indicates that the two teams play harder the smaller that CH is. In the analysis of the effects of heterogeneity on the favorite’s and the underdog’s efforts, the results show that each tries harder when CH is reduced and makes less effort as it becomes larger. These results support the...Read more

Nefertiti Walker
Thomas Allred
and David Berri

Motivated by a comment Shaquille O’Neal made about the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), we ask the following question: Is consumer demand and revenue in sports driven by the entertainment spectacle of the contest or the emotional attachment derived from wins and losses? We answer this question by empirically examining gate revenue in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 2000‒01 to 2018‒19. Utilizing a linear regression with panel corrected errors, we examined the impact on factors like dunking, three-point shooting, star power, and team wins on team gate revenue....Read more

Adam Hoffer and Jared A. Pincin

This paper uses Las Vegas Sportsbooks individual point spread values (PSVs) to estimate the first marginal product estimates of NBA players. Starting with the individual PSVs, we predict PSVs from performance statistics and use the predicted values to estimate a player’s marginal product. We then compare the NBA estimations with existing, better-established measures of player performance, including player efficiency rating, win shares, and value over replacement player. The results show that the estimates using statistical performance to predict PSVs are in-line with other estimates of...Read more

James Richard Hill and Peter A. Groothuis

The influx of international players into the NBA has led researchers to investigate whether either pay discrimination or a pay premium exists for these new entrants. Previous results have been mixed. Using similar techniques with a longer unbalanced panel dataset (1989–2013) that covers all the years of the previous studies, we test for the robustness of the results. We suggest that discrimination results are quite sensitive to the specifications and techniques used. We find that foreign wage premiums exist only for early foreign entrants and neither pay discrimination nor a wage premium...Read more

This study explored how the market value of American athletes may be influenced by the presence of international teammates. Specifically, the study examined: (a) Chinese consumers’ feelings of attachment to American National Basketball Association (NBA) players who have a distinguished Chinese teammate; (b) the relationship between Chinese consumers’ attachment level to the American teammates and their credibility as product endorsers; and (c) whether Chinese consumers’ evaluation of athlete endorsement differs for sports products and non-sports products. Respondents felt more attached to...Read more

Thomas A. Baker III and Natasha T. Brison

Originality is “[t]he sine qua non of copyright” (Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Tel. Ser. Co., 1991, p. 345), meaning without originality there is no copyright. Yet, what if original work capable of copyright protection existed on the bodies of celebrity athletes? Should courts use copyright law to protect the copyright owner at the expense of the athletes’ right to control the commercial use of their own bodies? These are the issues presented in Solid Oak Sketches, LLC v. Take- Two Interactive Software, Inc., (2016), a copyright action brought by tattooists against video game...Read more

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...Read more

David J. Berri
Michael A. Leeds
and Peter von Allmen

The assumption that workers are paid their marginal product underlies the theory of competitive labor markets and is the basis for comparison with non-competitive markets. Many firms, however, generate revenue in fixed lump-sums that are unrelated to the efforts of current workers. For example, many professional sports receive substantial income from broadcast rights, which are negotiated at wide intervals. We develop a theory of compensation in the presence of “fixed revenue” and test our theory using data from the National Basketball Association. Our results indicate that TV revenue...Read more

Allan Maymin
Philip Maymin
Eugene Shen

We analyze a large and comprehensive play-by-play dataset of professional games in the National Basketball Association using tools from financial economics to explore the optimality of strategically idling resources in the face of uncertain future demand. We find that starters ought to be idled by the coach on a “Q+1” basis, meaning that a starter has one more foul than the current quarter, when the future option value is high or the value of the replacement player is high. We use a novel win-probability approach that can be easily extended to other applications.Read more

David J. Berri

The NBA and its players union reached a new collective bargaining agreement in 2011. As a result of this agreement, the players will now be receiving less money. The NBA argued that a pay cut for the players was necessary to make the league better. More specifically, the NBA argued that if the players accepted less money, more teams could afford to field competitive teams. Therefore, competitive balance would improve, demand for the sport would increase, and ultimately the players would be better off. Although the NBA did get the players to accept less money, the empirical evidence—from...Read more