Is Jon Barry responsible for the recession?

13 03 2009

In thinking and writing about Jon Barry, and how he’s influenced my views of fantasy sports, I thought of the following:

As unemployment rises, the quality of the best available replacement workers improves.  This reduces the incentive for firms to retain marginal employees, since the firm can more easily hire someone good if and when conditions improve.  Thus, unemployment increases further.

By analogy, suppose that the best available player in your fantasy basketball league was not Jon Barry-like James Posey, but rather, the considerably better Stephen Jackson.  Now suppose that your team didn’t have a fixed size, but rather, you pay per player, and that you’re losing money.  Now, if you have Grant Hill or Jason Richardson, you’d be more likely to drop them, given that you always re-add them or pick up Jackson, as opposed to having to add Posey.  But by dropping Hill or Richardson, you add the list of strong available players, and make it more likely someone drops someone even better, like Andre Iguodala.

Of course, the flip-side is that when conditions to improve, there’s a run on the best available replacement players, where suddenly everyone’s rushing to add good talent…Iguodala, Hill, Richardson, Jackson all get added, and so do James Posey and maybe even Jon Barry himself.

Hopefully, this is where the economy’s heading.

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