Constrained Optimization

There is a well-known paper by the economist David Romer that claims that professional football teams (at least as of the mid-2000s) behaved predictably irrationally, if their actual goals were to win and thereby maximize medium-run profits: essentially, teams kick more often on fourth downs than the expected value of going for a first down or touchdown would predict.

Perhaps true, although last night’s kick-heavy Superbowl certainly gave the impression of two corporate, collective agents maximizing precisely for goals unrelated to, perhaps antagonistic to human enjoyment. I have a feeling a lot of things will seem like that going forward.

One thought on “Constrained Optimization

  1. “…certainly gave the impression of corporate, collective agents maximizing precisely for goals unrelated to, perhaps antagonistic to human enjoyment.”

    Funny, that the thought I had watching the commercials.

    Like

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