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‘The best defence…’ or optimal offence/defence spending ratios in the NFL


  • M. Kevin McGee
  • Lee Van Scyoc
  • Nancy J. Burnett


An original data set built from all 32 National Football League (NFL) teams, covering 2000--2009, is used to produce a production function for professional football. We use spending on salaries, divided between offensive and defensive players, as inputs to produce season wins. Our data suggest that the optimal strategy is simply to have a strategy, meaning teams with balanced spending tend to do worse than those with a more strategic allocation towards either offence or defence.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Kevin McGee & Lee Van Scyoc & Nancy J. Burnett, 2012. "‘The best defence…’ or optimal offence/defence spending ratios in the NFL," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(8), pages 717-720, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:19:y:2012:i:8:p:717-720 DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2011.597715

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Myers, Robert J. & Thompson, Stanley R., 1988. "Generalized Optimal Hedge Ratio Estimation," Staff Papers 200967, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Cumby, Robert E & Figlewski, Stephen, 1988. "Estimation of the Optimal Futures Hedge," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 623-630, November.
    3. Kroner, Kenneth F. & Sultan, Jahangir, 1993. "Time-Varying Distributions and Dynamic Hedging with Foreign Currency Futures," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 535-551, December.
    4. Tae H. Park & Lorne N. Switzer, 1995. "Bivariate GARCH estimation of the optimal hedge ratios for stock index futures: A note," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 61-67, February.
    5. Baillie, Richard T & Myers, Robert J, 1991. "Bivariate GARCH Estimation of the Optimal Commodity Futures Hedge," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(2), pages 109-124, April-Jun.
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