Contributions of Managerial Levels: Comparing MLB and NFL


Correspondence to: Department of Economics, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, USA. E-mail:


Sports differ according to the number of players, interdependencies among them, complexity of strategy, and other dimensions. For example, baseball has been described as ‘an individual game in which a team score is kept’. These differences suggest differences in the relative importance of managerial inputs: owners, general managers, and managers (or head coaches). Using panels over 1970–2011, I estimate performance production regressions for Major League Baseball and the National Football League that permit the relative importance of these managerial inputs to be assessed within and across sports while taking explicit account of the hierarchical structure of management levels. In addition, with predicted individual effects, I present rankings of best and worst managers, general managers, and owners. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.