Blood Money: Incentives for Violence in NHL Hockey

— the name of an economics paper by Haisken-DeNew and Vorell (two Germans); and surprisingly no mention of whether anyone has done similar studies of European hockey.

Tyler Cowen summarized the paper thusly:

In other words, there are substantial incentives for violence in hockey.

Well, duh.

But not just strategic incentives or marketing incentives, this study demonstrates that there are monetary incentives for players to be violent, “These estimated per-fight premia, depending on fight success ($10,000 to $18,000), are even higher than those for an additional point made.”

I don’t think this argument holds up if you look at the list of top-paid players. Are there any in the top-10 that are drop-the-gloves fighters? I’m guessing it’s all big-scorers and goalies.

And then the paper outlines financial penalties against players and teams that should effectively offset the incentives:

By introducing a “fight fine” of twice the maximum potential gain ($36,000) and adding this amount to salaries paid for the team salary cap (fines would be 6.7% of the team salary cap or the average wage of 2 players), then all involved would have either little or no incentives to allow fighting to continue.

— finally ridding fighting from hockey, I suppose. No question as to whether that is a desirable thing for the game, but given the introductory paragraph it’s clear these guys don’t think much of the North American enforcement-style game.

A good discussion follows in MR’s comments — if you a fan of the game, check them out.
Another interesting response


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One response to “Blood Money: Incentives for Violence in NHL Hockey

  1. Pingback: Hockey News Aggregator » Blood Money: Incentives for Violence in NHL Hockey

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