Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Infield Fly Rule

Opening Day is right around the corner. Time to examine one of baseball’s trickier and more controversial rules—the infield fly rule—from an economic perspective. This is what Florida International University professor Howard M. Wasserman does in his forthcoming article The Economics of the Infield Fly Rule, which will appear in the Utah Law Review.  Cost-benefit analysis is employed in legal theory to examine everything from torts to healthcare to environmental protection, and it generally takes more than ‘ordinary effort’ to understand the concept.  At least Wasserman’s article applies the theory to a pleasant topic. The author posits that lessons learned from the rules of baseball (and other sports) can be applied to legal procedural rules. You can read an abstract of the article, and download a draft of it from SSRN.