nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2008‒02‒16
five papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. A tale of two audiences: spectators, television viewers and outcome uncertainty in Spanish football By Rob Simmons; Babatunde Buraimo
  2. Price, quality and welfare consequences of alternative club objectives in a professional sport league By Paul Madden
  3. The allocation of rewards in athletic contests By Rob Simmons; Bernd Frick
  4. Race and the evaluation of signal callers in the national football league By Rob Simmons; D Berri
  5. Does it pay to specialize? The story from the Gridiron By Rob Simmons; D Berri

  1. By: Rob Simmons; Babatunde Buraimo
    Abstract: This paper tests for the impact of match outcome uncertainty on two types of audience for Spanish football, fans at the stadium and television viewers. We find that fans inside the stadium prefer games that are less and not more likely to finish with a close score. This is contrary to much theoretical literature in sports economics which argues that fans prefer close contests and imposes this assumption in formal modelling. We also find that television viewers prefer close contests to more predictable contests. The different preferences of fans inside the stadium and television viewers need to be reconciled by the league when considering the effectiveness of policies to redistribute resources amongst teams in the league. We use our empirical model to consider how this tension might be resolved so as to maximise total audience and total league revenues.
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Paul Madden
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Rob Simmons; Bernd Frick
    Abstract: Similar to most top-tier matches in professional basketball, baseball and soccer, high-level competitions in individualistic sports, such as the tennis tournaments of Wimble-don and Flushing Meadows, the golf tournaments of Augusta and St. Andrews, as well as the marathons of New York and London attract not only thousands of spectators, but also a TV audience of millions of fans. Moreover, these (and other) individualistic sports have recently received increased attention also from economists trying to test a number of hypotheses that can be derived from "tournament theory" or - as a synonym - from "contest theory". The chapter is structured as follows: We first provide a brief description of the development of prize money levels and structures in the three different individual sports men-tioned in the previous paragraph (and, consequently, athletes’ incomes over the last years (section 2). We then summarize the basic insights and the core predictions of tour-nament/contest theory (section 3) and review the available literature on the incentive effects of tournament pay systems in athletic contests (section 4). Finally, section 5 concludes and raises some of the questions that have not been answered yet and that should, therefore, be dealt with in future research.
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Rob Simmons; D Berri
    Abstract: Until recently, the position of quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) was not an option for black athletes. Today many teams employ black quarterbacks, a development that might suggest race is no longer relevant when it comes to the evaluation of signal callers in the NFL. To examine this contention, this paper explores the relationship between player salary, performance, and race at the quarterback position over the period 1995 to 2006. We find that blacks and whites play this position differently. Specifically, black quarterbacks are more likely to run with the football. This skill, though, is not compensated in the market. Consequently, there is evidence that blacks face an uncompensated entry barrier in this particular occupation.
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Rob Simmons; D Berri
    Abstract: In the field of personnel economics, there are few opportunities to convincingly test for salary returns to specialization as against versatility or multi-tasking. This paper performs such a test by modeling returns to performance measures associated with two different skills practiced by running backs in the National Football League. We find pronounced gains to specialization with substantial predicted differences in returns for alternative skills. Moreover, these differences vary across the salary distribution. In the top half of the salary distribution, especially, model simulations show that specialists in either particular skill generate higher marginal returns than versatile players.
    Date: 2007

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