Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sports: Restricting improving technology does not always have expected outcome

Date:
January 11, 2012
Source:
Wake Forest University
Summary:
New research by a sports economist shows restricting improving technology does not always have the expected outcome. His study suggests that understanding how people react to regulations can aid in policy-making.

New research by Wake Forest University sports economist Todd McFall shows restricting improving technology does not always have the expected outcome. His study suggests that understanding how people react to regulations can aid in policy-making.

After a ban on superior high-spin golf club grooves implemented at the beginning of the 2010 golf season, McFall decided to compare golfers' performances before and after the technology was prohibited. Without clubs to promote spin and increase accuracy, particularly around the green, it might be expected that scores would go up. The opposite happened. The number of shots taken to complete a hole decreased from a variety of yardages and locations on a course. The differences were statistically significant when golfers played from fairways, light rough and sand traps.

"Following the technology ban, golfers employed more cautious strategies that in many cases improved their scores substantially by increasing the likelihood their ball would reach the green," McFall says. "Players changed their behavior by choosing to play more conservatively. After the technology ban, they were no longer playing darts with their shots to the green. Instead, they compensated by being satisfied with just getting on the green more often, thus giving them better control of the ball for their next shot."

The idea for his research has its roots in a 1970s study related to mandatory seatbelt use and safety. The Peltzman effect, named after economist Sam Peltzman, hypothesizes that people tend to react to a safety regulation by increasing other risky or "offsetting" behavior. After the institution of mandatory seatbelt laws, Peltzman found that people tended to drive more recklessly. Regulations meant to protect car occupants from the consequences of bad driving actually seemed to encourage bad driving.

McFall's research is the first to look at offsetting behavior from an opposite approach, when an improving technology is prohibited rather than required.

Other examples where this research might have policy-making applications is the National Transportation Safety Board's recommendations to ban drivers from using hands-free cell phone devices, including wireless headsets, and proposed legislation limiting computer-modeled stock market transactions.

"Economics is like water going down a hill," says McFall. "Regulation is like a rock that forces water around it. Like the water finding a way around a rock, people will find a way around the regulation. So, understanding the relationship between people's risk tolerance and responses to technological change can aid in policy-making decisions in a number of settings."

"Pandora's groove: analyzing the effect of the U-grove ban on PGA Tour golfers' performances and strategies" was published in Applied Economics Letters. For his research, McFall had access to the PGA Tour's ShotLink database, which contains a record of every shot a professional player takes on the tour.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University. "Sports: Restricting improving technology does not always have expected outcome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120110132414.htm>.
Wake Forest University. (2012, January 11). Sports: Restricting improving technology does not always have expected outcome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120110132414.htm
Wake Forest University. "Sports: Restricting improving technology does not always have expected outcome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120110132414.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Facebook Says The DEA's Fake Accounts Go Too Far

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) Facebook says the DEA violated its Terms of Service and that such impersonations damage the integrity of the site. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins