Estimating Aging Effects in Running Events

23 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2017 Last revised: 16 Mar 2018

See all articles by Ray C. Fair

Ray C. Fair

Yale University - Cowles Foundation; Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance

Edward H. Kaplan

Yale School of Management

Date Written: August 18, 2017

Abstract

This paper uses world running records by age to estimate a biological frontier of decline rates. Two models are compared: a linear/quadratic (LQ) model and a non-parametric model. Two estimation methods are used: 1) minimizing the squared difference between the observed records and the modeled biological frontier and 2) using extreme value theory to estimate the biological frontier that maximizes the probability of observing the existing world records by age. The results support the LQ model and suggest there is linear percentage decline up to the late 70’s and quadratic decline after that. The extreme value estimates suggest that the true biological frontier is on average about 8 percent below the existing world records. The estimated age factors are also compared to the World Master Athletics (WMA) age factors. The two sets of age factors are close except at the old ages, where the WMA factors are noticeably smaller. Also, the WMA age factors do not meet an important biological constraint.

Keywords: Aging Effects, Running Events

JEL Classification: H19, J24, Z2

Suggested Citation

Fair, Ray C. and Kaplan, Edward H., Estimating Aging Effects in Running Events (August 18, 2017). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2100. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3022196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3022196

Ray C. Fair (Contact Author)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States
203-432-3715 (Phone)
203-432-6167 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fairmodel.econ.yale.edu

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance ( email )

Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
203-432-3715 (Phone)
203-432-6167 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fairmodel.econ.yale.edu

Edward H. Kaplan

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
203-432-6031 (Phone)

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