The Life of Gerald Scully: 1941-2009

Gerald Scully has died of pancreatic cancer. Every sports economist is familiar with his books and his seminal 1974 AER article. He estimated how much MLB players were underpaid relative to their marginal contribution to team revenue under baseball’s reserve clause. His estimation involved examining the determinants of revenue and the determinants of winning percentage. From this, he estimated a player’s contribution to team productivity and, consequently, to team revenue.

I have cited his work extensively in my sports economics classes and had two students undertake independent studies built upon Scully’s pioneering work in the economics of sports.

Here is David Henderson’s write-up at the Library of Economics and Liberty. Here is a piece by John Goodman. Here is a piece at Marginal Revolution. Scully’s write-up on economics and sports at the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

Thanks to John Chilton for the heads-up.

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Author: Phil Miller

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Gerald Scully