Journal of Economics and Finance

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 481-498

First online:

The effects of age, experience and managers upon baseball performance

  • Berna DemiralpAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Old Dominion University
  • , Christopher ColburnAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Old Dominion University
  • , James V. KochAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Old Dominion University Email author 

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As workers age, they acquire valuable experience even while their physical abilities eventually decline. Bosses/managers have the potential to alter the complex relationships between experience and declining physical abilities for better, or for worse. We examine the performances of 39,698 Major League baseball players in the 20th century and find that: (1) hitting performance peaks at age 30, base stealing at 27, and pitching at 34; (2) except for pitching, even experienced managers usually have little influence on player performance, or that influence is negative. In general, managers and coaches play limited roles in occupations where natural ability trumps other factors.


Microeconomics Learning by Doing Human Capital Theory of the Firm Management Age Versus Experience Tradeoff

JEL Classification

J44 D23