nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2011‒08‒15
three papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Gender Differences in Competitive Balance in Intercollegiate Basketball By Jaret Treber; Rachel Levy; Victor Matheson
  2. International Women's Soccer and Gender Inequality: Revisited By Joshua Congdon-Hohman; Victor Matheson
  3. For an Olive Wreath? Olympic Games and Anticipation Effects in Macroeconomics By Brückner, Markus; Pappa, Evi

  1. By: Jaret Treber (Department of Economics, Kenyon College); Rachel Levy (Bessemer Trust); Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: This paper adds to the literature on competitive balance in college sports by comparing men's and women's NCAA basketball. Using data from the Division I National Championships, we find evidence consistent with the idea that women’s college basketball is less competitively balanced than men’s college basketball. We argue that this difference may be explained by a theory of player ability borrowed from evolutionary biology first promulgated by paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould and subsequently utilized in Berri (2004). An implication of this idea is that competitive balance in women’s NCCA basketball will naturally improve over time. This is good news for those who are concerned with the long term success of the sport to the extent that competitive balance in women’s college basketball impacts fan demand. Nevertheless, we discuss why there may be reason to believe that women’s college basketball may not reach the same level of balance as men’s college basketball.
    Keywords: College sports, competitive balance, women’s sports, basketball
    JEL: L83 J16
    Date: 2011–08
  2. By: Joshua Congdon-Hohman (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross); Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: A number of authors have identified the determinants of success in international sporting competitions such as the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup. This paper serves to update past work on international women’s soccer performance given the rapid development of the game over the past decade. We compare the determinants of men’s international soccer team performance with that of their female counterparts and find that a different set of variables are important in explaining success for the two genders. While economic and demographic influences hold for both, the impacts of specific political and cultural factors diverge. In particular, Latin heritage predicts men’s success but not women’s, Muslim religious affiliation reduces women’s success but not men’s, and communist political systems tend to improve women’s performance but reduce men’s performance. Several measures of gender equality improve soccer performance for both men’s and women’s soccer suggesting these indicators of gender equality reflect overall levels of development while other measures of equality, particularly those related to women’s access to education, improve women’s soccer performance without enhancing men’s performance.
    Keywords: soccer, football, gender inequality, FIFA World Ranking
    JEL: I00 J16 L83 Z13
    Date: 2011–08
  3. By: Brückner, Markus; Pappa, Evi
    Abstract: The hosting and bidding for the Olympic Games is a natural experiment to test for anticipation effects in macroeconomics. We examine these effects using panel data for 184 countries during the period 1950-2006. We find that hosting the Games generates positive investment, consumption, and output responses already before the hosting of the Games. We also detect significant anticipation effects in countries that bid for the Games. While bidding for the Games has a transitory level effect, hosting the Games has a permanent level effect.
    Keywords: Anticipation; Mega Event; Natural Experiment
    JEL: E62 E65
    Date: 2011–08

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