Skip Sauer of Clemson University and EconTalk's Russ Roberts discuss the economics of Michael Lewis's Moneyball. Michael Lewis claims that the Oakland Athletics [A's] found an undervalued asset--the ability of a baseball player to draw a walk--and used that insight to succeed while spending less money than their rivals. Is it true? Drawing on Sauer's research, Sauer and Roberts try and answer the question and lots of others along the way. How competitive is the baseball industry? Why do some baseball skills get more attention than others? How important is defensive ability? Along the way you'll learn why Kevin Youkilis is a better lead-off hitter than you think and some of the peculiar incentives facing baseball teams and owners.
Skip Sauer of Clemson University and Russ Roberts talk about the economic impact of sports stadiums, how to create incentives in baseball, football and soccer, and the virtues and failings of socialism in sports.