The Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport (Hardcover)

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Arguing about sports is as old as the games people play. Over the years sports debates have become muddled by many myths that do not match the numbers generated by those playing the games. In The Wages of Wins, the authors use layman's language and easy to follow examples based on their own academic research to debunk many of the most commonly held beliefs about sports.

In this updated version of their book, these authors explain why Allen Iverson leaving Philadelphia made the 76ers a better team, why the Yankees find it so hard to repeat their success from the late 1990s, and why even great quarterbacks like Brett Favre are consistently inconsistent. The book names names, and makes it abundantly clear that much of the decision making of coaches and general managers does not hold up to an analysis of the numbers. Whether you are a fantasy league fanatic or a casual weekend fan, much of what you believe about sports will change after reading this book.

About the Author

David J. Berri is Associate Professor of Economics at California State University, Bakersfield. Martin B. Schmidt is Associate Professor of Economics at the College of William and Mary. Stacey L. Brook is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Sioux Falls.

Praise For…

"When I read the book, I was impressed by the amount of effort that went into compiling the reams of data that underlie the work . . . The fundamental case the authors make is that the statistical analysis shows that the conventional wisdom about sports is dead wrongthat the data as the put it, "offers many surprises."Joe Nocera, The New York Times
"In The Wages of Wins, the authors attempt to puncture some popular mythssaying that payroll and wins are not highly correlated, and that in baseball, football.attendance hasn't been significantly affected by players strikes or owner lockouts."Sue Kirchhoff, USA Today

"In The Wages of Wins, the economists David J. Berri, Martin B. Schmidt, and Stacey L. Brook set out to solve the Iverson problem. Weighing the relative value of fouls, rebounds, shots taken, turnovers, and the like, they've created an algorithm that, they argue, comes closer than any previous statistical measure to capturing the true value of a basketball player . . . Looking at the findings that Berri, Schmidt, and Brook present is enough to make one wonder what exactly basketball expertscoaches, managers, sportswritersknow about basketball."Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

"Wages is provocative, stimulating and challenging."Dick Friedman, Sports Illustrated
"It is one thing when an obnoxious fan or sports talk show blowhard spouts off about who is the best player or why a certain team doesn't win games. It is quite another thing when three economics professors, which the authors of this book are, who love sports give you proof to back up their arguments. Not many casual basketball fans would agree that Allen Iverson isn't a very productive player, but the authors have the data to show otherwise. It is hard to argue when the cold hard facts are in front of your face... The Wages of Wins is a very important book in the field of sports economics and a very enjoyable and thought provoking read. It leaves you wanting a sequel to it (which, luckily, the writers hint at)."

"Sports fans with an analytical bent shouldn't skip this book. And come to think of it, perhaps sports executives should be reading it as well."The Free Lance-Star

"This book presents complex economic analysis in a breezy manner that the casual sports fan and econophobe will appreciate and enjoy. I plan to assign it to students and recommend it to friends."Michael Leeds, Temple University, and author of The Economics of Sports

Product Details
ISBN: 9780804752879
ISBN-10: 0804752877
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 2006
Pages: 282
Language: English