nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2010‒11‒20
five papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Firm Survival in Professional Sports: Evidence from the German Football League By Oberhofer, Harald; Philippovich, Tassilo; Winner, Hannes
  2. Evidence of referees' national favouritism in rugby By Lionel Page; Katie Page
  3. Playoff Uncertainty, Match Uncertainty and Attendance at Australian National Rugby League Matches By Nicholas King; P Dorian Owen; Rick Audas
  4. Measuring Parity in Sports Leagues with Draws: Further Comments By P Dorian Owen
  5. What Does Intercollegiate Athletics Do To or For Colleges and Universities? By Malcolm Getz; John Siegfried

  1. By: Oberhofer, Harald (University of Salzburg); Philippovich, Tassilo (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck); Winner, Hannes (University of Salzburg)
    Abstract: This paper investigates firm survival in professional football, arguing that the relegation and promotion system in football leagues is very similar to firm exits and entries in traditional goods and service markets. Empirically, we use a dataset containing information on how long football teams have remained in the German Premier League over the playing seasons 1981-82 to 2009-10. Controlling for club and market specific characteristics, such as a team's budget or its player composition, our findings suggest that younger firms are systematically exposed to higher risks of market exit in professional football, which is often referred to as `liability of newness' in industrial organization.
    Keywords: Firm survival; liability of newness; duration analysis; sports leagues; relegation
    JEL: C25 C41 L21 L25 L83
    Date: 2010–11–10
  2. By: Lionel Page (Westminster and Cambridge); Katie Page (London)
    Abstract: The present article reports evidence of national favouritism from professional referees in two major sports: Rugby League and Rugby Union. National favouritism can appear when a referee is in charge of a match where one team (and only one) is from his country. For fear of the risk of such favouritism, such situations are avoided in most major sports. In this study we study two specific competitions who depart from this national neutrality" rule: the European Super League in Rugby League (and its second tier competition) and the Super 14 in Rugby Union. In both cases we find strong evidence that referees favour teams from their own nationality, in a way which has a large influence on match results. For these two major competitions, the Super League and the Super 14, we compare how a team performs in situations where the referee both shares their nationality and in situations where the referee comes from a different nationality. We also analyse referees' decisions within matches (such as penalty and try decisions) in a Rugby League competition, the Championship (second tier below the Super League). In both Rugby League and Rugby Union we find strong evidence of national favouritism.
    Keywords: Rugby league; Rugby Union; favouritism
    Date: 2010–10–10
  3. By: Nicholas King (University of Otago); P Dorian Owen (University of Otago); Rick Audas (University of Otago)
    Abstract: This paper develops a new simulation-based measure of playoff uncertainty and investigates its contribution to modelling match attendance compared to other variants of playoff uncertainty in the existing literature. A model of match attendance that incorporates match uncertainty, playoff uncertainty, past home-team performance and other relevant control variables is fitted to Australian National Rugby League data for seasons 2004-2008 using fixed effects estimation. The results suggest that playoff uncertainty and home-team success are more important determinants of match attendance than match uncertainty. Alternative measures of playoff uncertainty based on points behind the leader, although more ad hoc, also appear able to capture the effects of playoff uncertainty.
    Keywords: playoff uncertainty, match uncertainty, sports league attendance, Australian National Rugby League, fixed effects estimation
    JEL: C23 L83
    Date: 2010–08–31
  4. By: P Dorian Owen (Otago)
    Abstract: This paper re-examines the calculation of the relative standard deviation (RSD) measure of competitive balance in leagues in which draws are possible outcomes. Some key conclusions emerging from the exchange between Cain and Haddock (2006) and Fort (2007) are reversed. There is no difference, for any given points assignment scheme, between the RSD for absolute points compared to percentages of points. However, variations in the points assignment that change the ratio of points for a win compared to a draw do result in different RSD values, although the numerical differences are minor.
    Keywords: sports economics, competitive balance, relative standard deviation,idealized standard deviation, draws/ties
    JEL: D63 L83
    Date: 2010–08–13
  5. By: Malcolm Getz (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University); John Siegfried (American Economic Association, Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, University of Adelaide, South Australia)
    Abstract: What tangible benefit do universities who participate in major televised sports achieve from their commitment? The essay reviews the evidence on the gains in public funding, attraction of philanthropy, increases in applicants and selectivity, and the influence on students. Ultimately, what is the opportunity cost of an institution's financial stake in what may be close to a zero sum game?
    Keywords: sports, athletics, university, college, philanthropy, admissions, students
    JEL: I23 L83
    Date: 2010–02

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