nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2010‒11‒13
four papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Heterogeneous Worker Ability and Team-Based Production: Evidence from Major League Baseball, 1920-2009 By Alex Bryson; Rafael Gomez; Kerry L. Papps
  2. The shape of success: estimating contest success functions in sports By Peeters Th.
  3. Police and Thieves in the Stadium: Measuring the (Multiple)Effects of Football Matches on Crime By Olivier Marie
  4. The Faculty Flutie Factor: Does Football Performance Affect a University’s US News and World Report Peer Assessment Score? By Mulholland, Sean; Tomic, Aleksandar; Sholander, Samuel

  1. By: Alex Bryson; Rafael Gomez; Kerry L. Papps
    Abstract: A detailed longitudinal dataset is assembled containing annual performance and biographicaldata for every player over the entire history of professional major league baseball. The dataare then aggregated to the team level for the period 1920-2009 in order to test whether teamsbuilt on a more even distribution of observed talent perform better than those teams with amixture of highly able and less able players. The dependent variable used in the regressions isthe percentage of games a team wins each season. We find that conditioning on averageplayer ability, dispersion of both batting and pitching talent displays an optimal degree ofinequality, in that teams with too high or too low a spread in player ability perform worsethan teams with a more balanced distribution of offensive and defensive talent. Thesefindings have potentially important applications both inside and outside of the sporting world.
    Keywords: skill dispersion, baseball, firm performance
    JEL: L23 L25 L83 M51
    Date: 2010–10
  2. By: Peeters Th.
    Abstract: In this note I estimate and compare Tullock- and Hirshleifer-style contest success functions (CSFs) using data from the 4 major American sports leagues. I fi?nd that Tullock CSFs based on relative efforts fit the data better than Hirshleifer CSFs based on absolute effort differences.
    Date: 2010–09
  3. By: Olivier Marie
    Abstract: During large sporting events criminal behaviour may be affected via three main channels: (i)fan concentration, (ii) self incapacitation, and (iii) police displacement. In this paper I exploitinformation on football (soccer) matches for nine London teams linked to detailed recordedcrime data at the area level to empirically estimate these different effects. My findings showthat only property crime significantly increases in the communities hosting football matchesbut that they experience no changes in violent offences. These results are robust tocontrolling for a large number of game type and outcome characteristics. There is noevidence of temporal displacement of criminal activity. Our conceptual model suggests thatthe away game attendance effect on crime is due to voluntary incapacitation of potentialoffenders. I argue that the police displacement effect of hosting a match increases propertycrime by 7 percentage point for every extra 10,000 supporters.
    Keywords: Football, police, crime
    JEL: K10 K42
    Date: 2010–10
  4. By: Mulholland, Sean; Tomic, Aleksandar; Sholander, Samuel
    Abstract: Analyzing the peer assessment portion of the US News and World Report’s college rankings, we find that administrators and faculty rate more highly universities whose football team receives a greater number of votes in either the final Associated Press or Coaches Poll. Controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, our estimates suggest that a one standard deviation increase in the number of votes received in either the Associated Press or USA Today Coaches’ Football Poll is viewed as positively as a forty point increase in a school’s SAT score at the 75th percentile.
    Keywords: college football; football bowl subdivision; national universities; peer assessment
    JEL: I20 I23 L83
    Date: 2010–09–07

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