nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2007‒04‒09
two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. Does the Mobility of Football Players Influence the Success of the National Team? By Dirk G. Baur; Sibylle Lehmann
  2. The Penalty-Duel and Institutional Design: Is there a Neeskens-Effect? By Wolfgang Leininger; Axel Ockenfels

  1. By: Dirk G. Baur; Sibylle Lehmann
    Abstract: This paper is motivated by the observation that there is a large discrepancy among football nations regarding the number of football players that play in the national team and also in their home league. Two extreme examples are Argentina and Italy : Almost all members of the national team of Argentina play in a foreign football league and all national team players of Italy play in their home league. We focus on the question whether a country's success in international competitions significantly depends on the mobility of its football players. More specifically, we analyze whether a country's success is influenced (i) by the number of national team players that do not play in the home league and (ii) by the number of national team players from other countries that play in the home league. Our study is based on data of all 32 national football teams qualified for the FIFA World Cup in Germany 2006 including more than 700 players with a total estimated market value of almost four billion Euros. The main finding is that a country's success crucially depends on both imports and exports. This suggests that all countries that qualified for the World Cup gain from trade.
    Keywords: football, international trade, transfer market
    Date: 2007–04–04
  2. By: Wolfgang Leininger; Axel Ockenfels
    Abstract: We document an increase in the scoring probability from penalties in soccer, which separates the time period before 1974 significantly from that after 1976: the scoring probability increased by 11%.We explain this finding by arguing that the institution of penalty-shooting before 1974 is best described as a standard of behaviour for striker and goal-keeper, which in game-theoretic terms represents a 2x2-game. In contrast to this, after 1976 the institution of the penalty-duel is best described by a 3x3 game form constrained by certain behavioural rules. Those rules can be parameterized by a single parameter, which nevertheless allows the theoretical reproduction (and hence explanation) of all the empirically documented regularities.The scoring probability in equilibrium of the latter institution is higher than in the former one.We present historical evidence to the effect, that this change in the perception of penalty- duels (as two different games), was caused by Johan Neeskens’ shrewd and “revolutionary” penalty-taking during World-Cup 1974, when he shot a penalty in the first minute of the final between Germany and the Netherlands right into the middle of the goalmouth.
    Keywords: Professional soccer, mixed strategy equilibrium, institutional design
    JEL: D01 C72 D74 C93
    Date: 2007–03

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