Poster Title (Current Submission)

Comparative Advantage in the Bullpen

Major(s)

Economics, Finance

Minor(s)

Theatre Arts

Mentor Name

John Solow

Mentor Department

Economics

Presentation Date

3-25-2010

Abstract

Understanding the relationship between players’ performance and their pay is perhaps the longest running issue in sports economics. While a considerable amount of this research in baseball has involved hitters, relatively little has been done on pitchers. As Krautmann, Gustafson and Hadley [2003] have pointed out, there are two reasons for this: measuring pitchers’ performance independently of their teammates is difficult, and different pitchers perform different roles on the team, giving rise to pay structures that reward different aspects of performance depending on whether the pitcher is a starter or a reliever. Of course, the role that a pitcher plays on a team is an endogenous decision. Strengths in various dimensions, both physical and psychological, are likely to make a given pitcher more effective as a starter or as a reliever. In this paper, we make a first attempt at examining the factors that determine the role that a major league pitcher plays on a team.

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Mar 25th, 12:00 AM

Comparative Advantage in the Bullpen

Understanding the relationship between players’ performance and their pay is perhaps the longest running issue in sports economics. While a considerable amount of this research in baseball has involved hitters, relatively little has been done on pitchers. As Krautmann, Gustafson and Hadley [2003] have pointed out, there are two reasons for this: measuring pitchers’ performance independently of their teammates is difficult, and different pitchers perform different roles on the team, giving rise to pay structures that reward different aspects of performance depending on whether the pitcher is a starter or a reliever. Of course, the role that a pitcher plays on a team is an endogenous decision. Strengths in various dimensions, both physical and psychological, are likely to make a given pitcher more effective as a starter or as a reliever. In this paper, we make a first attempt at examining the factors that determine the role that a major league pitcher plays on a team.