Teaching Guides

The following teaching guides have been developed by the authors or submitted by other contributors who are using Moneyball in their classrooms. Each teaching guide is summarized below and includes the most relevant classes where the guides can be used. Click on the image in order to open the teaching guide.

 

If you are using Moneyball in the classroom and would like to contribute to the teaching guides, please reach out to us. The teaching guides below are divided into resources we have developed and ones that are available externally.

Author Created Teaching Guides
Image by Kazi Mizan

Principles

What does it mean when economists encourage people to "think like an economist?" People should be aware of scarcity, but need to make decisions about how much to consume and produce under those constraints.

Fenway.jpg

Principles

Using data from payroll spending, students can draw a Lorenz Curve to depict inequality within divisions of Major League Baseball. This activity has students compare divisional inequality against the all of Major League Baseball.

Image by Scott Graham

Intermediate Microeconomics

Baseball teams have a fixed budget to allocate toward players, who possess particular traits. Moneyball allows an instructor to use the production values of players and the concept of payrolls to teach constrained optimization.

Image by Cytonn Photography

Principles

When people are voluntarily allowed to exchange with each other, they will give up something (cost) in an order to get something that they value more. When both parties exchange, both can be better off than before.

Dollars

Principles, Labor, Sports

Using data from MLB and ESPN, students calculate the marginal revenue product of free agents and compare that value to salaries. Students will determine if players are over- or under-valued relative to the player's estimated worth.

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Principles

In order to be classified as unemployed, people must be activey looking for a job while not being currently employed. This simple definition doesn't account for the reasons why someone may be unemployed.

Home Run

Principles

This activity encourages a group discussion about the definition and implementation of comparative advantages based on the decisions that Billy Beane was asked to make as the General Manager. 

Image by Tim Gouw

Labor

The demand for any input is driven by the demand for the output that is produced. Using data on team revenue, students will observe the relationship between winning percentage and revenue the team generates. 

Baseball Team

Principles, Behavioral

This guide looks at Billy Beane's aversion to losing based on the work highlighted in Biguglio, Acchiardo, Mateer, and Geerling (2020). Beane remarks that he hates losing more than he loves winning, and that there is a difference between the two.

External Resources for Teaching with Moneyball
Math Class

Teaching Advancement Placement Statistics

Statistics

Paul Buckley created a series of exercises to teach AP Statistics using Moneyball. Exercise 1 focuses on a summary of the movie, but Exercise 2 and 3 looks at Pythagorean Expectations and extrapolation. 

Chart

Forecasting Wins in Baseball

Advanced Econometrics

James Mundy has created a project that requires students to build a multiple regression model to forecast wins for a team using data from 1871 to 2006. The data has been adjusted to match performance in a standard 162 game season.

Computer Programming

Linear Regression in Python

Econometrics

Harry Bitten has created a guide to replicating pieces of DePodesta's statistical analysis using linear regression in Python. The project is based on data to model the 2002 regular season results.

Business Meeting

Organization Behavior

Managerial Economics

Mark Cannon and Corbette Doyle (2020) show how scenes from the movie can be used to teach critical aspects of evidence-based management. Many of the scenes and discussions cover topics that are introduced in a managerial economics course.

Code

Intro to Linear Regression
in R

Econometrics

Nick Kaufmann has created a step-by-step lab to look at the relationship between runs scored and other player characteristics. The focus is on interpreting coefficients of a linear regression model.

Teaching Economics with 
Moneyball