The Law Of Genius And Home Runs Refuted
Abstract"In a lively, provocative article, DeVany claims inter alia that the size distribution of home runs follows a continuous "power law" distribution which is nested in a larger class of "stable" statistical distributions characterized by an infinite variance. He uses this putative fact about the size distribution of home runs to argue that concern about the use of steroids to enhance home run ability is necessarily misplaced. In this article, we show that the initial claim is false and argue that the subsequent claim about the potential importance of steroid use does not follow from the first. We also show that the method used to establish that the size distribution of home runs is characterized by an infinite variance is unreliable and will find evidence "consistent" with infinite variance in all but the most trivial of data sets generated by processes with finite variance. Despite a large and growing literature that spans several fields and uses methods and arguments similar to DeVany's, we argue that mere inspection of the unconditional distribution of some human phenomenon is unlikely to yield much insight." ("JEL" C16, L83) Copyright (c) 2008 Western Economic Association International.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.
Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 18830 Brookhurst Street, Suite 304, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 USA
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0095-2583
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
- L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Recreation; Tourism
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
- John DiNardo, 2007. "Interesting Questions in Freakonomics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(4), pages 973-1000, December.
- Brock, W A, 1999. "Scaling in Economics: A Reader's Guide," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 409-46, September.
- Andrew R. Solow & Christopher J. Costello & Michael B. Ward, 2003. "Testing the power law model for discrete size data," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Gould, Eric D. & Kaplan, Todd R., 2011.
"Learning unethical practices from a co-worker: The peer effect of Jose Canseco,"
Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 338-348, June.
- Gould, Eric D & Kaplan, Todd, 2007. "Learning Unethical Practices from a Co-worker: The Peer Effect of Jose Canseco," CEPR Discussion Papers 6550, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gould, Eric & Kaplan, Todd R, 2010. "Learning unethical practices from a co-worker: the peer effect of Jose Canseco," MPRA Paper 24232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Gould, Eric D. & Kaplan, Todd R., 2008. "Learning Unethical Practices from a Co-worker: The Peer Effect of Jose Canseco," IZA Discussion Papers 3328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2009.
"Adoption Curves and Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
15065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nieswiadomy Michael L. & Strazicich Mark C. & Clayton Stephen, 2012.
"Was There a Structural Break in Barry Bonds's Bat?,"
Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports,
De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-19, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.