Prof. Abel, who has written books on a wide range of topics, including graffiti, genetic disorders and “Marihuana: the First Twelve Thousand Years,” says names, initials and death just intrigue him.
“I do a lot of reading,” he says, “and like to speculate on a lot of different aspects of behavior.” Baseball, Prof. Abel points out, is not only a good place for data, it’s also more interesting than doing a study on, say, academics. “What kind of kid grows up and wants to be an economist?” he says.
Is that some sort of insult?
There are thousands of kids who grew up and wanted to be economists and these kids come in all shapes and sizes. Some of these kids are male, some are female. Some drink, some don't. Some are religious, some aren't. Most are a little more geeky than the average person (i.e., they like math, computers) . One reason is that being an economist is a relatively good job. Some of these economists agree with Prof. Abel and do research on the sports industry. However, some of them don't even like sports and choose to do research on other important, and interesting, topics. The broadest of these topics is improving our understanding of human behavior with an ultimate goal of making society better off in some small way (i.e., inquiries into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations).
That, sir, is the type of kid that grows up and wants to be an economist.