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Brandli Stitzel, Ryan S Mattson and Rex Pjesky
''The trashy side of baseball: An econometric analysis of the Houston Astros cheating scandal.''
( 2021, Vol. 41 No.2 )
In this paper, we investigate the efficacy of the cheating scheme employed by the Houston Astros the 2017 Major League Baseball season, in which they won the championship. We present evidence that the cheating scheme profoundly affected player performance and increased the number of wins the Astro's accumulated in the 2017 season. We analyze individual player performance in the 2017 season to estimate the average individual benefit to the Astros players from the scheme. We use these estimates to calculate the benefit to the team in terms of offensive performance and the cumulative impact on the team's overall performance. We estimate the team won at least 2-3 games and potentially as many as 15 games they might not have otherwise won had they not cheated. Our analysis presents the first estimates of the benefits of this momentous event.
Keywords: sports, sports economics, information, uncertainty, performance, signaling, cheating, sportsmanship, gamesmanship
JEL: D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty: General
Z0 - Other Special Topics: General
Manuscript Received : Oct 23 2020 Manuscript Accepted : Apr 09 2021

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