The Sports Economist on Freakonomics Vs. Moneyball

Michael Giberson

At The Sports Economist, David Berri uses the occasion of a brief Business Week piece, “Freakonomics vs. Moneyball” to draw further attention to an article by Jahn K. Hakes and (Sports Economist blog-founder) Skip Sauer that appeared in this summer’s edition of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. In the article, Hakes and Sauer find econometric support for a bit of analysis key to the Moneyball story: that a batter’s “on base percentage” was undervalued in baseball labor market. Hakes and Sauer also conclude that the undervaluation of OBP diminished after the book was published.

As Berri notes, this isn’t just an article about sports, or a sports book, but about labor markets and economics, too.

The on-line Business Week story is limited to subscribers, as is the JEP article. You can find earlier versions of the Hakes and Sauer article online by searching for “An Economic Evaluation of the Moneyball Hypothesis.”