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Risk Taking Behavior in Tournaments: Evidence from the NBA

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Author Info

  • Grund, Christian

    ()
    (RWTH Aachen University)

  • Höcker, Jan

    ()
    (University of Würzburg)

  • Zimmermann, Stefan

    ()
    (University of Würzburg)

Abstract

We empirically explore the relevance of risk taking behavior in tournaments. We make use of data from the NBA season 2007/2008 and measure risk taking by the fraction of three-point shots. Current heterogeneity of teams is taken into account by intermediate results. It turns out that indeed teams who are behind increase the risk in terms of more three-point attempts. We additionally analyze the consequences of this change in behavior. Enhanced risk taking is inefficient for the vast majority of cases and only beneficial in terms of a higher winning probability if a team is behind with a rather large amount of points. We discuss possible explanations for these decision errors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4812.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4812

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Keywords: risk taking; NBA; basketball; tournaments;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Should losing NBA teams take 3 point shots?
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-08-30 14:07:21

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