Stumbling On Wins Questions
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questionanswerpagerequiredchapterHigher Bloom
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What is the difference between irrationality and stupidity?
Irrationality focuses on the ability to make the correct decision, but an irrational person isn't necessarily stupid.
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Why do we not expect athletes to fall victim to over-characterizing their abilities?
It's easier to measure productivity in sports because of all the statistics that are available. The same types of stats are not available in the workplace.
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If athletes' productivity is so easy to measure, why is it so hard to be successful?
It's hard to see how stats translate to wins and past performance isn't always indicitive of future performance.
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What does it mean when economists think about a labor market being efficient?
Players are paid in line with their expected productivity. The most productive get paid the most.
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Why isn't as simple to declare the winner of sports to be the one with the most resources?
You have to know how to use those resources and there is some luck involved as well.
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What is the main incentive problem between player pay and team winning?
The stats that are most likely to help the team win are not the same stats that help a player get paid
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Why could scoring illusion be a detriment to team performance?
You see a player scoring a lot and assume he's helping the team, but he may be really inefficient and miss a lot of shots
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Why do teams even track statistics to begin with?
The goal is to separate the player from the team to try and see who was repsponsible for success.
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What was an interesting employment trend for black and white Hall of Fame quarterbacks?
White quarterbacks tended to play for only one team most of their career even with bad seasons while black quarterbacks played for multiple teams
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What is the economic rationale for requiring college athletes to enter a draft system for playing in the professional leagues?
It lowers the cost of teams trying to acquire different players
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Why is there an incentive for poorly performing NBA teams to lose on purpose?
The worst team in the league has a better chance of earning the first draft pick, which could completely change their future performance
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Describe the Pareto Principle in the context of basketball teams
The Pareto Principle would state that 80% of production comes from 20% of players, which would mean most of the output from teams comes from about 3 players.
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How do NBA general managers fall victim to the overchoice problem on draft day?
There are too many statistics available for each player that teams aren't able to make all the "right" calculations of which stats will make a bigger impact the next season.
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Why should a team regard a "busted" draft pick as a sunk cost?
The team already selected that player and can't go back and change their mind, so they should just move on.
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Whether it's about stealing bases or going for it on 4th down, what economic principle should decision makers apply?
They should focus on cost-benefit analysis and measure whether the gains outweight the costs
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According to the book, who is Frank Costanza?George's father1SOW1
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Who said, "What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?! He had 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs last year. He's got a rocket for an arm. You don't know what the hell you're doin'!"
Frank Costanza1SOW1
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Who was told "What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?! He had 30 home runs and over 100 RBIs last year. He's got a rocket for an arm. You don't know what the hell you're doin'!"
George Steinbrenner1SOW1
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Fans often suggest that decision-makers in sports are less than what?
perfect2SOW1
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Traditional economics clearly teaches that decision-makers are supposed to be what?
rational2SOW1
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How did Veblen think that economist see people?
hedonistic lightning calculators
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Thaler and Sunstein argued that economist believe people think like who?
Albert Einstein2SOW1
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Thaler and Sunstein argued that economist believe people store as much memory as what?
IMB's Big Blue2SOW1
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Thaler and Sunstein argued that economist believe people exercise willpower similar similar to whom?
Mahatama Handhi2SOW1
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Contrary to what sports fans often contend, it's not possible for coaches and managers to do what?
Make the same mistake over and over again
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Who do behavioral economics believe is correct?
Fans2SOW1
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How are sports often described?Removed from reality3SOW1
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Irrational is not synonymous with what word?Stupid3SOW1
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More than anyone else, decision makers in sports should be what?
rational3SOW1
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Despite being relatively small, sports receive a lot of attention from _________.
media3SOW1
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No other industry has an entire __________________ devoted to it.
section of each local paper3SOW1
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Relative to other industries, success and failure seem to be what?
easy to understand4SOW1
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For workers in non-sports industries, measure worker productivity is ____________.
difficult4SOW1
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According to the University of Nebraska, how many college professors thought they were better teachers than average?
0.9404SOW1
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Who could be pretty confident that they were an above average hitter in 2008?
Chipper Jones4SOW1
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Who would be hard pressed to say that they were an above average hitting in 2008?
Jeff Francoeur4SOW1
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Understanding the past doesn't have much value if we can't do what?
predict the future5SOW1
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Neither author owns what?slide rule5SOW1
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Seminal work by George Miller has shown that the human mind can only do what?
Track about 7 things at one time
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Who has won the coin toss at the Super Bowl for 12 consecutive years?
National Football Conference (NFC)
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The National Football Conference (NFC) has won the coin toss for how many consecutive years?
12 (twelve)7SOW1
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The American Football Conference (AFC) better do some work if it wants to do that?
close the "coin toss predicting gap"
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Flipping a coin is what?A random process7SOW1
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Even if you flip a coin 12 times in a row, the process is still what?
random7SOW1
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In 1997, the Oakland A's were ranked in the bottom in which two categories?
team payroll and winning percentage
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It's been argued that the key to the A's success was Billy Beane's ability to recognize inefficiencies where?
labor market8SOW1
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It's been argued that the key to the A's success was Billy Beane's ability to recognize what?
inefficiencies (in the labor market)
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Which two economists researched whether baseball's labor market was "grossly inefficient"
John Hakes and Raymond Sauer
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Hakes and Sauer investigated whether baseball's labor market was what?
"grossly inefficient"8SOW1
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Workers who are expected to be the most productive get what?
paid the most8SOW1
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In a world of "rich" and "poor" teams, the best players typically end up on teams that have what ability?
pay the most8SOW1
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Hakes and Sauer found what two states relate to winning?
on-base percentage and slugging percentage
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How large was the impact of on-base percentage compared to slugging for team wins?
Twice10SOW1
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What role do regressions play in economics?test tubes9SOW1
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Who spent more than $1.5 billion acquiring playing talent between 1999 and 2008?
New York Yankees13SOW2
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From 1999 to 2008, no team won more regular season games than which team?
New York Yankees13SOW2
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The New York Yankees spent more than $1.5 billion on acquiring playing talent between what years?
1999 and 200813SOW2
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From 2000 to 2008, the Washington Redskins spent the most in the NFL yet failed to win how many games?
Half13SOW2
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Which team paid its players more than anyone else from 2000-01 to 2007-08, but had 19 teams achieve better results?
New York Rangers13SOW2
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In all sports, what percentage of variation in winning percentage is not explained by a team's spending?
75%13-14SOW2
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In which two sports is a team's spending explained by less than 10% of the variation in wins?
Basketball and football14SOW2
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In basketball and football, how much of the variation in wins is explained by team spending?
Less than 10 (ten) percent14SOW2
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It takes more than money to find what?success in sports14SOW2
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The consistent "averageness" of the Knicks led the team to hire whom? When?
Isiah Lord Thomas III; December 2003
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Who wrote, "If you love the Knicks and don't like this move, you must be delirious."
William Rhoden14SOW2
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After Isaiah's playing days, which three jobs did he have?
Front office executive, broadcaster, and head coach
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Within days of taking the job, Isaiah acquired which player?
Stephon "Starbury" Marbury15SOW2
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What three factors can NBA numbers be separated into?
scoring factors, possession factors, and help factors
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Possession factors include which statistics?
rebounds, steals, and turnovers
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Help factors include what statistics?
assists, blocked shots, and personal fouls
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Despite being inefficient scorers, both Marbury and Thomas tended to do what first?
call his own numbers17SOW2
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How did Marbury compare (on average) with respect to assists and personal fouls?
above average17SOW2
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What metrics argues that wins are driven by shooting efficiency, rebounds, turnovers, and steals?
Wins Produced18SOW2
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The metric Wins Produced argues that wins are driven by what 4 contributions?
shooting efficiency, rebounds, turnovers, and steals
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An average player in the NBA produces how many wins per 48 minutes?
0.118SOW2
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Marbury's WP48 with the Phoenix Suns in 2003-2004 was what?
0.13618SOW2
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How many players from the December 2003 Knicks were still on the team in 2005-2006?
0 (zero)19SOW2
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What two things do Crawford, Curry, Richardson, Frye, and Randolph all have in common?
Above average scorers, each has flaws that undermine overall effectiveness
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Although Eddy Curry was 6'11", where was he consistently below average?
on the boards19SOW2
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Which two teams were less successful than the Knicks during Isaiah's years in New York?
Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats
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Which factors were found to have a statistically significant and negative effect on salaries for NBA free agents?
Personal fouls, Age, and playing Shooting Guard
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With respect to performance on the court, which two factors do not impact a player's pay?
steals and turnovers21SOW2
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What is the dominant factor that determines how much a player is paid?
Number of points a player scores
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If a free agent increased his scoring by roughly 5 points per 48 minutes played, how much would his salary increase?
$1.4 million22SOW2
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Players have a clear incentive to do what as much as possible?
Take shots22SOW2
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For free agents, more shots will lead to more points, and more points leads to what?
More money22SOW2
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Who said, "One plus one is two, all day long, and it's never gonna change. And that's factorial."
Marbury23SOW2
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What type of player is paid the league maximum under the collective bargaining agreement?
"Max Player"23SOW2
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Teams will struggle to win when if every player only focuses on what?
Their own scoring23SOW2
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Auerbach and the Celtics are considered the first organization to popularize what concept?
Role player24SOW2
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What was Adam Morrison's only apparent skill?Taking shots26SOW2
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How many wins did Adam Morrison produce in 2006-07?
-6.726SOW2
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How did the wins Adam Morrison's produce rank in 2006-07? Out of how many?
458th out of 458 (last)26SOW2
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What was Adam Morrison voted to?
NBA's All-Rookie Second team
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How many additional votes did Adam Morrison need to be a first team selection?
One26SOW2
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What signal do NBA head coaches send young players?
focus on scoring27SOW2
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Which factors were found to have a statistically negative effect on voting for All-Rookie teams in the NBA?
Personal fouls and place taken in draft
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For rookies, more shots lead to more points, and more points lead to more what?
money and recognition28SOW2
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How much did Stephon Marbury actually earn in his first season in New York?
$13,500,000 29SOW2
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