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The Rise and Fall of the Enforcer in the National Hockey League

Author

Listed:
  • Craig A. Depken II
  • Peter A. Groothuis
  • Mark C. Strazicich

Abstract

This paper investigates the time series properties of fighting and scoring in the National Hockey League from 1957-2013. The empirical analysis focuses on identifying structural breaks in the various time series and correlating these breaks with rule changes in the NHL, especially those that focus on fighting. We find that player behavior in the areas of fighting and scoring changed structurally before rule changes in the NHL that reduced the benefits and increased the costs of fighting. The data and empirical results suggest that the rise and fall of the enforcer was a function of changes in social norms within the NHL rather than legal changes by the league itself. The example suggests that other sports might also experience changes in social norms that lead to reduced violence and increased offense before formal rule changes are made by league officials. Key Words: Social Norms, Cultural Change, Rule Changes, Structural Breaks

Suggested Citation

  • Craig A. Depken II & Peter A. Groothuis & Mark C. Strazicich, 2016. "The Rise and Fall of the Enforcer in the National Hockey League," Working Papers 16-12, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:16-12
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    File URL: http://econ.appstate.edu/RePEc/pdf/wp1612.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Z22 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Labor Issues
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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