“Win at Home and Draw Away”: Automatic Formation Analysis Highlighting the Differences in Home and Away Team Behaviors
“Win at Home and Draw Away”: Automatic Formation Analysis Highlighting the Differences in Home and Away Team Behaviors (PDF)
Source: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
In terms of analyzing soccer matches, two of the most important factors to consider are: 1) the formation the team played (e.g., 4 – 4 – 2, 4 – 2 – 3 – 1 , 3 – 5 – 2 etc. ), and 2) the manner in which they executed it (e.g., conservative – sitting deep, or aggressive – pressing high). Despite the existence of ball and player tracking data, no current methods exist which can automatically detect and visualize formations. Using an entire sea son of Prozone data which consists of ball and player tracking information from a recent top – tier prof essional league, we showcase an automatic formation detection method by investigating the “home advantage”. In a paper we published recently, using an ent ire season of ball tracking data we showed that home teams had significantly more possession in the forward – third which correlated with more shots and goals while the shooting and passing proficiencies were the same. Using our automatic formation analysis, we extend t his analysis and show that while teams tend to play the same formation at home as they do away, the manner in which they execute the formation is significantly different. Specifically, we show that the position of the formation of teams at home is significantly higher up the field compared to when they play away. This conservative approach at away games suggests that coaches aim to win their home games and draw their away games. Additionally, we also show that our method can visually summarize a game which gives an indication of dominance and tactics. While enabling new discoveries of team behavior which can enhance analysis, it is also worth mentioning that our automatic formation detection method is the first to be developed.
The Productivity of Public Charter Schools
Source: University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform
People often wish to know how much “bang they get for their buck.” This calculation is often referred to as productivity and is measured either as cost effectiveness or return on investment (ROI). This report represents the first-ever national study tying funding to student achievement and measuring the productivity of public charter schools relative to traditional public schools. It was crafted by six researchers with more than 70 years of collective experience in the field of public finance and school funding.
Unhappy Cities (PDF)
Source: Harvard University (Glaeser et al)
There are persistent differences in self-reported subjective well-being across U.S. metropolitan areas, and residents of declining cities appear less happy than other Americans. Newer residents of these cities appear to be as unhappy as longer term residents, and yet some people continue to move to these areas. While the historical data on happiness are limited, the available facts suggest that cities that are now declining were also unhappy in their more prosperous past. One interpretation of these facts is that individuals do not aim to maximize self-reported well-being, or happiness, as measured in surveys, and they willingly endure less happiness in exchange for higher incomes or lower housing costs. In this view, subjective well-being is better viewed as one of many arguments of the utility function, rather than the utility function itself, and individuals make trade-offs among competing objectives, including but not limited to happiness.
Activist Directors: Determinants and Consequences
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers
This paper examines the determinants and consequences of hedge fund activism with a focus on activist directors, i.e., those directors appointed in response to demands by activists. Using a sample of 1,969 activism events over the period 2004-2012, we identify 824 activist directors. We find that activists are more likely to gain board seats at smaller firms and those with weaker stock price performance. Activists remain as shareholders longer when they have board seats, with holding periods consistent with conventional notions of “long-term” institutional investors. As in prior research, we find positive announcement-period returns of around 4% to 5% when a firm is targeted by activists and a 2% increase in return on assets over the subsequent one to five years. We find that activist directors are associated with significant strategic and operational actions by firms. We find evidence of increased divestiture, decreased acquisition activity, higher probability of being acquired, lower cash balances, higher payout, greater leverage, higher CEO turnover, lower CEO compensation, and reduced investment. With the exception of the probability of being acquired, these estimated effects are generally greater when activists obtain board representation, consistent with board representation being an important mechanism for bringing about the kinds of changes that activists often demand.
The Burden of Stress in America (PDF)
Source: NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health
The NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health Burden of Stress in America Survey was conducted from March 5 to April 8, 2014 with a sample of 2,505 respondents. The survey examines the role stress plays in different aspects of Americans’ lives, including the public’s personal experiences of stress in the past month and year, the perceived effects of their stress and causes of that stress, their methods of stress management and their general attitudes about effects of stress in people’s lives.
Does Planning Regulation Protect Independent Retailers? (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers
Regulations aimed at curbing the entry of large retail stores have been introduced in many countries to protect independent retailers. Analyzing a planning reform launched in the United Kingdom in the 1990s, I show that independent retailers were actually harmed by the creation of entry barriers against large stores. Instead of simply reducing the number of new large stores entering a market, the entry barriers created the incentive for large retail chains to invest in smaller and more centrally located formats, which competed more directly with independents and accelerated their decline. Overall, these findings suggest that restricting the entry of large stores does not necessarily lead to a world with fewer stores, but one with different stores, with uncertain competitive effects on independent retailers.
Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Retirement Planning Predicts Employee Health Improvements (PDF)
Source: Washington University in St. Louis
Are poor physical and financial health driven by the same underlying psychological factors? We document that the decision to contribute to a 401(k) retirement plan predicts whether or not an individual will act to correct poor physical health indicators revealed during an employer-‐sponsored health examination. Using this examination as a quasi-‐exogenous shock to employees’ personal health knowledge, we examine which employees are more likely to improve health, controlling for differences in initial health, demographics, job type, and income. We find that existing retirement contribution patterns and future health improvements are highly correlated. Those that save for the future by contributing to a 401(k) improved abnormal health test results and poor health behaviors approximately 27% more than non-‐contributors. These findings are consistent with an underlying individual time discounting trait that is both difficult to change and domain interdependent, and that predicts long-‐term individual behaviors on multiple dimensions.
New Research Report: The Children We Mean to Raise
Source: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Our youth’s values appear to be awry, and the messages that we’re unintentionally sending as adults may be at the heart of the problem.
According to our recent national survey, a large majority of youth across a wide spectrum of races, cultures, and classes appear to value aspects of personal success—achievement and happiness—over concern for others. At the root of this problem may be a rhetoric/reality gap, a gap between what parents say are their top priorities and the real messages they convey in their behavior day to day.
When children do not prioritize caring and fairness in relation to their self-concerns—and when they view their peers as even less likely to prioritize these values— there is a lower bar for many forms of harmful behavior, including cruelty, disrespect, dishonesty, and cheating.
The good news is that we found substantial evidence that caring and fairness still count among kids—and, according to other sources, among adults.
The solution is straightforward, if we’re all willing to work together.
SAGE – A Test to Measure Thinking Abilities
Source: Ohio State University (Wexner Medical Center)
The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is designed to detect early signs of cognitive, memory or thinking impairments. It evaluates your thinking abilities and helps physicians to know how well your brain is working.
You may want to take SAGE if you are concerned that you might have cognitive issues. Or you may wish to have your family or friends take the test if they are having memory or thinking problems. The difficulties listed can be early signs of cognitive and brain dysfunction. While dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can lead to these symptoms, there are many other treatable disorders that also may cause these signs.
It is normal to experience some memory loss and to take longer to recall events as you age. But if the changes you are experiencing are worrying you or others around you, SAGE can be a helpful tool to assess if further evaluation is necessary.
See: A Test for the Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease (New York Times)
A Measurement Study of Google Play (PDF)
Source: Columbia University
Although millions of users download and use third-party Android applications from the Google Play store, little in- formation is known on an aggregated level about these applications. We have built PlayDrone, the first scalable Google Play store crawler, and used it to index and analyze over 1,100,000 applications in the Google Play store on a daily basis, the largest such index of Android applications. PlayDrone leverages various hacking techniques to circumvent Google’s roadblocks for indexing Google Play store con- tent, and makes proprietary application sources available, including source code for over 880,000 free applications. We demonstrate the usefulness of PlayDrone in decompiling and analyzing application content by exploring four previously unaddressed issues: the characterization of Google Play application content at large scale and its evolution over time, library usage in applications and its impact on application portability, duplicative application content in Google Play, and the ineffectiveness of OAuth and related service authentication mechanisms resulting in malicious users being able to easily gain unauthorized access to user data and resources on Amazon Web Services and Facebook.
Cashier or Consultant? Entry Lab or Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success (PDF)
Source: Yale University
We analyze lab or market outcomes of U.S. college graduates from the classes of 1976 to 2011, as a function of the economic conditions they graduated into. We categorize college majors by average economic outcomes and skill level of the major, predominantly the average earnings premium, and measure a range of lab or market outcomes over the first 13 years after college graduation. We have three main findings. First, poor labor market conditions disrupt early careers. For the average major, a large recession at time of graduation reduces earnings and wages by roughly 11% and 3% (respectively) in the first year, and reduces the probability of full-time employment by 0.095. Effects on earnings and full-time employment fade out over the first 7 years of a career, while the wage effects persist. There is a small positive effect on the probability of obtaining an advanced degree. Second, for the period as a whole, these effects are differential across college majors. High-earning majors are somewhat sheltered when graduating into a recession relative to the average major, experiencing significantly smaller disadvantages in most lab or market outcomes measured. As a result, the initial earnings and wage gaps across college majors widen by 33% and 8%, respectively, for those graduating into a large recession. Most of these effects fade out over the first 7 years, but impacts on wages and a measure of occupational match quality persist. Higher paying majors are also slightly less likely to obtain an advanced degree when graduating into a recession. Our third set of results focuses on a recent period that includes the Great Recession. Early impacts on earnings are double what we would have expected given past patterns and the size of the recession, in part because of a large increase in the cyclical sensitivity of demand for college graduates. The effects are also dispersed much more evenly across college majors than those of prior recessions.
The Rising Cost of Consumer Attention: Why You Should Care, and What You Can Do about It (PDF)
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers
Attention is a necessary ingredient for effective advertising. The market for consumer attention (or “eyeballs”) has become so competitive that attention can be regarded as a currency. The rising cost of this ingredient in the marketplace is causing marketers to waste money on costly attention sources or reduce their investment in promoting their brands. Instead, they should be thinking about how to “buy” cheaper attention and how to use it more effectively. Research in the emerging field of the Economics of Attention shows how this can be achieved. Here, I argue that, irrespective of the means to attain it, attention always comes at a price. I also show that the cost of attention has increased dramatically (seven‐ to nine‐fold) in the last two decades. To counteract this trend I propose novel approaches to lower its cost or use attention more efficiently by adopting multitasker‐tailored ads, Lean Advertising, and Viral Ad Symbiosis. To guide the choice of which approach to take, I propose the Attentioncontingent Advertising Strategy, a framework to match the most effective approach to the quality of attention contingently available. As the value of attention rises, marketers need to become better managers of attention. This paper is intended to help them in this regard.
The evolution of the UK tax base (PDF)
Source: Sheffield Political Research Institute (University of Scheffield)
Taxation takes many different forms, encompassing progressive taxes such as income tax, regressive taxes such as Value Added Tax, and taxes targeted on private enterprises such as corporation tax. The economic downturn significantly affected tax revenues, and the Coalition Government since 2010 has sought to cut some taxes, to boost economic recovery, but at the same time raise others, in support of deficit reduction. It is important to consider, therefore, what impact these changes have had on the nature of the UK tax base as a whole. The evidence shows that regressive taxes now make up a higher proportion of tax revenues, and both progressive individual taxes and taxation targeted on private enterprises make up a lower proportion. Furthermore, revenue from business taxes is set to contract even further, even as economic growth returns, as proposed cuts are fully implemented.