Monday, June 8, 2009

The "economics" of sports concussions

Yesterday's Times included an article about sports concussions among people under age 18 that highlighted the behavioral economics of the condition. While a majority of neurologists recommended strict rules that prohibit the return of athletes to the playing field following a concussion, a minority of them pointed out that such rules also encapsulate a perverse incentive for the athlete, namely not to report or admit having a concussion so as to avoid benching.

An additional likelihood is that an athlete suffering a concussion would probably be a little less capable of rational thought, but I imagine that would only increase the chance that he or she would decide to conceal the condition when possible.