Protecting Professional Hockey Players' Heads

without them. When everyone skated without helmets, the relative advantage disappeared, resulting in gratuitous risk of injury to all players. In 1979, the N.H.L. required all newly hired players to wear helmets, but veterans were exempted. Some continued to skate without a helmet until 1997, believing that it gave them an edge — but today’s players seem to see futility in sacrificing safety for an unsustainable relative advantage.”

Evidence tends to suggest that even well-informed workers in perfectly competitive markets will tend to buy too little safety on their own.  Hence the need for athletic leagues, like employers with long-range plans, to eliminate unnecessary injuries and losses, where safety engineering and available products can significantly reduce or eliminate such risks. Professor Frank’s analysis of the economic and moral perspectives and findings shed light on the decision-making of consumers and pro athletes.

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