Evaluation of Talent in a Changing World: The Case of Major League Baseball
Comparing talent across time is difficult as productivity changes. To compare talent across time we utilize Major League baseball data from 1871-2010 and time series techniques to determine if the mean and standard deviation of five performance measures are stationary and if structural breaks exist. We identify two structural breaks in the mean slugging percentage: in 1921, the free swinging era of Babe Ruth, and in 1992, the steroid era. Given that productivity changes over time, we develop a simple benchmark technique to compare talent over time and identify superstars. Applications of this measure outside of baseball are also suggested. Key Words: Benchmarking, Major League Baseball, Technology Changes, Structural Breaks
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