Measurement Error and the Hot Hand
The American Statistician, 66(1), 2012
17 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2011 Last revised: 27 Aug 2012
Date Written: February 1, 2012
This paper shows the ﬁrst autocorrelation of basketball shot results is a highly biased and inconsistent estimator of the ﬁrst autocorrelation of the ex ante probabilities the shots are made. Shot result autocorrelation is close to zero even when shot probability autocorrelation is close to one. The bias is caused by what is equivalent to a severe measurement error problem. The results imply that the widespread belief among players and fans in the hot hand is not necessarily a cognitive fallacy.
Keywords: hot hand, overinference, measurement error, basketball
JEL Classification: D3, D83, L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation