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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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