The Law Of Genius And Home Runs Refuted
"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.
If 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.
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
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0095-2583|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- John DiNardo, 2007. "Interesting Questions in Freakonomics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(4), pages 973-1000, December.
- 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.
- Brock, W A, 1999. "Scaling in Economics: A Reader's Guide," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 409-446, September.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.