SSRN Research Papers

Since 1994, the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) has provided a forum for sharing and distributing the work of scholars in a wide variety of fields, from cognitive science to law to economics and beyond.

Each week, its administrators compile a list of the five papers downloaded the most often over the preceding seven days. Given the sheer quantity and breadth of the papers posted on the site, it is a rare honor to land in the top five.

During the week of May 16, 2014, however, professors in the Department of Finance and Risk Engineering at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering took up not one, but two of the five spots.

“On the Biases and Variability in the Estimation of Concentration Using Bracketed Quantile Contributions,” co-written by Nassim Taleb and Raphael Douady, and “Profiting from Machine Learning in the NBA Draft,” by Philip Maymin, were each downloaded almost 1,000 times. The latter paper reportedly marked the first time a sports analytics paper had ever made the top five. (If any team owners were among those who downloaded the piece, they could not have been heartened by Maymin’s finding that teams are, on average, missing out on almost ten million dollars per year in lost productivity because of inadequately informed draft picks.)

Maymin is gratified by his inclusion on the SSRN list and delighted to share the honor with his colleagues. “For any single institution to show up twice would be impressive,” he says, “and for a department of our size it is simply amazing.”