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Decision-Making Bias in the NBA Free Agency: The Case of the Playoffs

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dc.contributor.advisor Preston, Anne Elizabeth Matkaris, Tilemachos 2021-07-12T12:44:10Z 2021-07-12T12:44:10Z 2021
dc.description.abstract This paper explores the impact of unexpected playoff performance on free agent contracts for NBA players. It also examines the rationality of NBA executives when making these hiring decisions, in order to determine whether they are weighing recent playoff performance correctly. Both contract data and extensive performance data for NBA players from 2013 to 2019 are used to answer these questions. There is evidence that unexpected playoff performance, specifically in regard to player scoring, rebounding, and win-shares accumulation, significantly impacts a player's future wages, with unexpectedly good performance being rewarded and unexpectedly bad performance being punished. Furthermore, it is shown that NBA general managers in charge of handing out these contracts are neither overvaluing nor undervaluing players' unexpected playoff performances. Thus, we find no evidence that psychological biases might be affecting the ability of NBA executives to correctly evaluate how many of their available resources should be allocated to a specific player.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Economics
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Basketball players -- Selection and appointment -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh National Basketball Association
dc.subject.lcsh Basketball -- Tournaments -- United States
dc.title Decision-Making Bias in the NBA Free Agency: The Case of the Playoffs
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Bi-College users only

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