Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=901848
 
 

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Do Firms Maximize? Evidence from Professional Football


David H. Romer


University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)


Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 114, pp. 340-365, April 2006

Abstract:     
This paper examines a single, narrow decision - the choice on fourth down in the National Football League between kicking and trying for a first down - as a case study of the standard view that competition in the goods, capital, and labor markets leads firms to make maximizing choices. Play-by-play data and dynamic programming are used to estimate the average payoffs to kicking and trying for a first down under different circumstances. Examination of actual decisions shows systematic, clear-cut, and overwhelmingly statistically significant departures from the decisions that would maximize teams' chances of winning. Possible reasons for the departures are considered.

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Date posted: May 17, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Romer, David H., Do Firms Maximize? Evidence from Professional Football. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 114, pp. 340-365, April 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=901848

Contact Information

David H. Romer (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )
549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-642-0822 (Phone)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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