Running the Risk of an Injury in the NFL: Short-Run and Career Consequences

36 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2019

See all articles by Quinn Keefer

Quinn Keefer

California State University, San Marcos - Economics

Thomas J. Kniesner

Claremont Graduate University - Department of Economic Sciences; Syracuse University - Department of Economics; IZA

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Abstract

Similar to other workers in industrial settings NFL running backs can choose to provide additional work effort with possible negative health consequences. We find that the most informative measure for running backs is yards gained after contact, which not only increases total rushing yards but also increases injuries that can cause subsequent lost income due to future games missed. We econometrically examine the decisions running backs reveal in trading off injury risk against total yards gained and salary in the short run and how the tradeoff appears in the longer run where career length considerations come into play. Our estimates reveal subtle nonlinearities and interpersonal heterogeneity in risky effort and the associated short and long run injury risk and economic payoffs.

Keywords: non-fatal injuries, NFL, running backs, risky effort, rate-of-return, career length, Poisson regression, Arellano-Bond model, panel data, fixed effects

JEL Classification: Z21, Z22, C23

Suggested Citation

Keefer, Quinn and Kniesner, Thomas J., Running the Risk of an Injury in the NFL: Short-Run and Career Consequences. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12556. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3445822

Quinn Keefer (Contact Author)

California State University, San Marcos - Economics ( email )

San Marcos, CA
United States

Thomas J. Kniesner

Claremont Graduate University - Department of Economic Sciences ( email )

Claremont, CA 91711
United States

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States

IZA

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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