Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Cost of Specialization: Evidence from National League Pitchers' Record Low Batting Average

The NY Times reports that the NY Mets' pitchers get 1 hit per 100 at bats.    In the "old days", they would have batted around .150.  The Times argues that from a young age that today's pitchers specialize in pitching and never learn to hit.  In contrast, in the old days, pitchers used to be more well rounded.   For undergraduate econ Profs, this case offers a fun example of the role of endogenous skill formation and optimal time investment given the expected returns to skill.  Gary Becker would give this example a B+.