J.C. Bradbury is a long-time friend and contributor to the Freakonomics blog. An associate professor of economics at Kennesaw State University, Bradbury is the author of two books on baseball: The Baseball Economist: The Real Game Exposed, and Hot Stove Economics: Understanding Baseball’s Second Season. For years, he covered the intersection of baseball and economics on his Sabernomics blog.
So with the new movie Moneyball out, we wanted to get J.C.’s thoughts on how well the book translates onto the big screen, and whether it does justice to the wonky, sabermetrics approach to baseball.
An Economist’s Thoughts on Moneyball
By J.C. Bradbury
When it was published in 2003, the book Moneyball generated a buzz in the field of economics because it covered several topics economists like, such as constrained maximization, market efficiency, entrepreneurship, and statistical analysis. To most people, economics is boring: it’s a class they took because they had to. Author Michael Lewis introduced important economic concepts through a venue that millions of Americans pay to watch. As a book, it succeeded, but I was skeptical that it could work as a movie. I was wrong. Even my wife, who only reluctantly agreed to see the movie with me, enjoyed it.