Personnel Economics in Sports
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Personnel Economics in Sports

Edited by Neil Longley

Sport is an effective industry in which to empirically test theories of personnel economics, primarily because the employer-employee relationship in sport is much more visible and transparent than in almost any other industry. This book examines personnel economics within the context of the professional sport industry. The chapters are organized around the core functional areas of personnel economics and cover all aspects of the employment relationship in sport – from recruiting and selection, to pay and performance, to work team design.
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Chapter 2: The failed promise of the draft in the NFL and NBA

David Berri


The promise of the reverse-order draft is that bad teams can acquire talented players to dramatically improve their fortunes. But academic research on the NFL and NBA indicates that this promise is often not realized. For example, research has shown that NFL teams generally overvalue high picks in the draft. In addition, research specifically on quarterbacks shows that the pick number at which they are selected in the draft does not seem to be statistically related to their future NFL performance. Problems also exist in the NBA draft. Younger scorers who play for winners in college tend to be drafted first. However, there is no evidence that age, scoring, or college team success is related to NBA productivity. Hence – with respect to the NFL and NBA – the promise of the draft fails for many of the league’s losers.

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