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Does March Madness lead to irrational exuberance in the NBA draft? High-value employee selection decisions and decision-making bias

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  • Ichniowski, Casey
  • Preston, Anne

Abstract

We use detailed, personally-assembled data on the performance of collegiate and professional basketball players over the 1997–2010 period, to look at the impact of performance in the NCAA “March Madness” college basketball tournament on NBA teams’ draft decisions and players’ ultimate success in the NBA. We find that unexpected March Madness (MM) performance, in terms of team wins and player scoring, affects draft decisions, and NBA personnel who are making these draft decisions are not irrationally overweighting this MM information. If anything, the unexpected performance in the March Madness tournament deserves more weight than it gets in the draft decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ichniowski, Casey & Preston, Anne, 2017. "Does March Madness lead to irrational exuberance in the NBA draft? High-value employee selection decisions and decision-making bias," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 105-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:105-119
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.07.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dennis Coates & Babatunde Oguntimein, 2010. "The Length and Success of NBA Careers: Does College Production Predict Professional Outcomes?," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 5(1), pages 4-26, February.
    2. Camerer, Colin F. & Weber, Roberto A., 1999. "The econometrics and behavioral economics of escalation of commitment: a re-examination of Staw and Hoang's NBA data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 59-82, May.
    3. Wallace Hendricks & Lawrence DeBrock & Roger Koenker, 2003. "Uncertainty, Hiring, and Subsequent Performance: The NFL Draft," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 857-886, October.
    4. David J. Berri & Stacey L. Brook & Martin B. Schmidt, 2007. "Does One Simply Need to Score to Score?," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 2(4), pages 190-205, November.
    5. David Berri & Stacey Brook & Aju Fenn, 2011. "From college to the pros: predicting the NBA amateur player draft," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 25-35, February.
    6. David Berri & Rob Simmons, 2011. "Catching a draft: on the process of selecting quarterbacks in the National Football League amateur draft," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 37-49, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel H. Weinberg, 2013. "Talent Recruitment and Firm Performance: The Business of Major League Sports," Working Papers 13-54r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Feb 2014.
    2. repec:cen:wpaper:13-54 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision making; Employee selection; Bias;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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