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It's fourth down and what does the Bellman equation say? : a dynamic-programming analysis of football strategy

Author: David Romer; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, MA. : National Bureau of Economic Research, ©2002.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 9024.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Abstract: This paper uses play-by-play accounts of virtually all regular season National Football League games for 1998-2000 to analyze teams' choices on fourth down between trying for a first down and kicking. Dynamic programming is used to estimate the values of possessing the ball at different points on the field. These estimates are combined with data on the results of kicks and conventional plays to estimate  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: David Romer; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 50408142
Notes: "June 2002."
Description: 1 online resource (28, [5] pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 9024.
Other Titles: Dynamic-programming analysis of football strategy
Responsibility: David Romer.

Abstract:

Abstract: This paper uses play-by-play accounts of virtually all regular season National Football League games for 1998-2000 to analyze teams' choices on fourth down between trying for a first down and kicking. Dynamic programming is used to estimate the values of possessing the ball at different points on the field. These estimates are combined with data on the results of kicks and conventional plays to estimate the average payoffs to kicking and going for it under different circumstances. Examination of teams' actual decisions shows systematic, overwhelmingly statistically significant, and quantitatively large departures from the decisions the dynamic-programming analysis implies are preferable.

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