The idea for this research project actually originates from an interaction with a PhD student. They asked for James's help in analysing a large dataset of betting prices on football matches.
“This piqued my interest – we looked at whether markets react quickly to new information, or whether it takes some time. I realised that the abundance of data in sport affords great opportunities to ask questions that other data sources haven't enabled us to find clear answers on. ”
James's research is driven by a desire to finding interesting insights. With this particular project, it provides insights for sports teams and people, as well as for economists. James believes the kinds of insights that economics can provide to sport are huge.
“Economics is about strategy, and optimal strategy given the information set available, and winning at sport is also all about strategy – the optimal strategy given the information set available. With sport, data exists to look into this in great detail – unlike most economic activity. So I see economists able to learn more about decision-making and the outcomes of it from using sport data, and the sport participants themselves being able to learn more about optimal strategies using the research from economics.”