nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2005‒10‒29
five papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. A Note on Sabotage in Collective Tournaments By Oliver Gürtler
  2. Doping in Contest-Like Situations By Matthias Kräkel
  3. Skating on Thin Ice: Rule Changes and Team Strategies in the NHL By Banerjee, Anurag; Swinnen, Johan F M; Weersink, Alfons
  4. Are 18 holes enough for Tiger Woods? By Oliver Gürtler
  5. Black Sheep and Walls of Silence By Gerd Mühlheusser; Andreas Roider

  1. By: Oliver Gürtler (Department of Economics, BWL II, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24-42, D-53113 Bonn, Germany. Tel.:+49-228-0739214, Fax:+49-228-0739210.
    Abstract: In this paper a tournament between teams (a collective tournament) is analyzed, where each contestant may spend productive effort in order to increase his team's performance or sabotage the members of the opponent team. It is shown that sabotaging the weaker members of a team always decreases their team's performance more significantly than sabotaging stronger members does. As a consequence, sabotage activities are only directed at a team's weaker members. This finding is quite interesting, as previous results on individual tournaments indicate that oftentimes only the stronger participants should be sabotaged.
    Keywords: Collective Tournament, Sabotage, Complementarities
    JEL: C72 J33 M52
    Date: 2005–10
  2. By: Matthias Kräkel (Department of Economics, BWL II, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24-42, D-53113 Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: Individuals who compete in a contest-like situation (for example, in sports, in promotion tournaments, or in an appointment contest) may have an incentive to illegally utilize resources in order to improve their relative positions. We analyze such doping within a tournament game between two heterogeneous players. Three major effects are identified which determine a player's doping decision — a cost effect, a likelihood effect and a windfall-profit effect. Moreover, we discuss whether the favorite or the underdog is more likely to be doped, the impact of doping on overall performance, the influence of increased heterogeneity on doping, the welfare implications of doping, and possible prevention of doping.
    Keywords: contest, doping, drugs, fraud in research, tournament.
    JEL: J3 K42 M5
    Date: 2005–05
  3. By: Banerjee, Anurag; Swinnen, Johan F M; Weersink, Alfons
    Abstract: In an effort to stimulate a more exciting and entertaining style of play, the National Hockey Association (NHL) changed the rewards associated with the results of overtime games. Under the new rules, teams tied at the end of regulation both receive a single point regardless of the outcome in overtime. A team scoring in the sudden-death 5-minute overtime period would earn an additional point. Prior to the rule change in the 1999-2000 season, the team losing in overtime would receive no points while the winning team earned 2 points. This paper presents a theoretical model to explain the effect of the rule change on the strategy of play during both the overtime period and the regulation time game. The results suggest that under the new overtime format equally powerful teams will play more offensively in overtime resulting in more games decided by a sudden-death goal. The results also suggest that while increasing the likelihood of attacking in overtime, the rule change would have a perverse effect on the style of play during regulation by causing them to play conservatively for the tie. Empirical data confirm the theoretical results. The paper also show that increasing the rewards to a win in regulation time would not prevent teams from playing defensively during regular time.
    Date: 2004–02–01
  4. By: Oliver Gürtler (Department of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24-42, D-53113 Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the selection problem in promotion tournaments. I consider a situation with heterogeneous employees and ask whether an employer might be interested in repeating a promotion tournament. On the one hand, this yields a reduction in uncertainty over the employees' abilities. On the other hand, there are costs if a workplace stays vacant.
    Keywords: Promotion tournament, selection, heterogeneous employees, repetition
    JEL: D82 M51
    Date: 2005–05
  5. By: Gerd Mühlheusser (University of Bern, Department of Economics, Gesellschaftsstrasse 49, 3012 Bern, Switzerland,; Andreas Roider (University of Bonn, Department of Economics, Wirtschaftspolitische Abteilung, Adenauerallee 24-42, 53113 Bonn, Germany,
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the frequently observed phenomenon that (i) some members of a team (“black sheep”) exhibit behavior disliked by other (honest) team members, who (ii) nevertheless refrain from reporting such misbehavior to the authorities (they set up a “wall of silence”). Much cited examples include hospitals and police departments. In this paper, these features arise in equilibrium. An important ingredient of our model are benefits that agents receive when cooperating with each other in a team. Our results suggest that teams in which the importance of these benefits varies across team members are especially prone to the above mentioned phenomenon.
    Keywords: teams, misbehavior, wall of silence, asymmetric information
    JEL: D82 C73
    Date: 2005–06

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