Marquette University
Press Release

Marquette researchers find NFL rule decreases concussions, increases lower-body injuries

Hanson says the rule was well intentioned but ultimately harmful.

By - Feb 16th, 2017 01:21 pm
Andrew Hanson. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

Andrew Hanson. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

MILWAUKEE — Two Marquette University economics professors in a study forthcoming in the Journal of Health Economics have found that the National Football League’s “Crown of the Helmet Rule” (CHR) reduces the probability of a concussion occurring among players by 32 percent.

However, the study by associate professors of economics Dr. Andrew Hanson and Dr. Nicholas Jolly also shows strong evidence that because the CHR forces players to alter the way they play, it has the unintended consequence of increasing lower-body injuries by as much as 34 percent. Hanson and Jolly also found that the CHR has a significant cost associated with it.

“On net, comparing the benefits of reduced concussions, as well as head and neck injuries, the CHR is quite costly for players,” Hanson said. “We estimate the one-year cost from lost productivity due to games missed to be $27 million, while the long-term net cost to be $285 million.”

To arrive at a health-related cost, Hanson and Jolly used a measure called the “Value of Statistical Life,” which assigns dollar values based on the severity of injuries that result from traumatic events, such as automobile accidents. They applied Department of Transportation guidelines to assign a classification of “moderate” to lower-body injuries and “severe” to concussions.

Nicholas Jolly. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

Nicholas Jolly. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

To assign actual dollar values to these injuries, the team also used DOT estimates, which assign a value of $0.43 million to moderate injuries and $0.96 million to severe injuries.

“We used our estimates of how many more lower-body injuries occur and how many fewer concussions occur as a result of the policy, and multiplied by these values to come up with the total cost of the policy,” Hanson explained.

“The costs we calculated are for injuries that occurred during the season after the implementation of the rule change,” Jolly added. “It remains to be seen how these calculations will evolve over time.”

Hanson says the rule, which the NFL implemented after the 2012–13 season in response to litigation and an overall concern for worker safety, was well intentioned but ultimately harmful.

“What we are finding is that it is, on net, a negative thing,” he said. “The cost outweighs the benefits.”

Press Releases by Marquette University

Marquette University

Marquette to unveil new innovation space on campus

707 Hub will foster student innovation and entrepreneurship

Marquette University

New Marquette Law School Poll finds Trump approval rating at 41 percent in Wisconsin

Voters react to health care changes, Russia, immigration, state issues

Marquette University

Charles Franklin goes ‘On the Issues’ to present new Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history.

Marquette University

Marquette to host ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ conference in April

Cult classic TV series celebrates 20th anniversary in March

Marquette University

Marquette’s engineering dean receives honors from Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network and STEM Forward

“I am both honored and humbled,” Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus dean of Engineering said.

Marquette University

Catholic friar who advocates for migrants to kick off Marquette Democracy Project spring series

Friar Tomás González Castillo is a leader of a Catholic movement to advocate for migrants in Mexico.

See More Releases

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *