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The Long-Term Game: An Analysis of the Life Expectancy of National Football League Players

Author

Listed:
  • Ruud Koning

    () (Department of Economics and Econometrics, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands)

  • Victor Matheson

    () (Department of Economics and Accounting, College of the Holy Cross, One College Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA)

  • Anil Nathan

    () (Department of Economics and Accounting, College of the Holy Cross, One College Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA)

  • James Pantano

    () (Department of Economics and Accounting, College of the Holy Cross, One College Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA)

Abstract

The National Football League (NFL) has recently received significant negative media attention surrounding the safety of its players, revolving largely around the long term health risks of playing the sport. Recent premature deaths and instances of suicide associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy and other football related injuries have brought the sport under increased scrutiny. By comparing mortality rates of the general population to mortality rates of players using publically available data from the 1970 and 1994 NFL seasons, we test whether participation in football is significantly harmful to the longevity of the players. We conclude that, in total, players in the NFL have lower mortality rates than the general population. However, there is evidence that line players have higher mortality rates than other players and that those who played more games have higher mortality rates than those who played fewer games.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruud Koning & Victor Matheson & Anil Nathan & James Pantano, 2014. "The Long-Term Game: An Analysis of the Life Expectancy of National Football League Players," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-11, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jijfss:v:2:y:2014:i:1:p:168-178:d:34131
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    Keywords

    National Football League; premature deaths; survivability; injuries;

    JEL classification:

    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • G2 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission

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