nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Winning by Losing: Incentive Incompatibility in Multiple Qualifiers By Dagaev, Dmitry; Sonin, Konstantin
  2. Macroculture, Athletics and Democracy in ancient Greece By Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas

  1. By: Dagaev, Dmitry; Sonin, Konstantin
    Abstract: In sport tournaments, the rules are presumably structured in a way that any team cannot be better off (e.g., to advance to the next round of competition) by losing instead of winning a game. Starting with a real-world example, we demonstrate that the existing national rules of awarding places for the UEFA Champions Leagues and the UEFA Europa League, which are based on the results of the national championship, a round-robin tournament, and the national cup, a knock-out tournament, might produce a situation where a team will be strictly better off by losing a game. Competition rules of the European qualification tournament to the World Cup 2014 suffer from the same problem. We show formally that in qualifying systems consisting of several round-robin tournaments, monotonic aggregating rules always leave open such a possibility. Then we consider qualifying systems consisting of a round-robin tournament (championship) and a knock-out tournament (cup). We show that any redistribution rule that allows the cup's runner-up to advance in the case that the cup's winner advances based on its place in a championship, has the same drawback, and discuss possible fixes.
    Keywords: football; organization; tournaments; UEFA Champions League
    JEL: D71
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros; Kyriazis, Nicholas
    Abstract: In the present essay we examine whether and how sports affected the emergence of democracy as a political phenomenon in Classical Greece. To achieve this we introduce in a model the concept of macroculture as a complex of mutually supporting values, norms and beliefs in various areas of human activity, like athletics, war, politics, etc. Then, we proceed through a historical review on the history of sports in Ancient Greece and we investigate various aspects of how and under which terms athletics performed during classical Greece, predominantly, in ancient Athens. We found that the values that gradually emerged through sports during an extended period that goes back as far as the Bronze Age times, led to the development of an environment of mutually supporting norms and values such as equality and trust, that by being correlated and coordinated each other, led to the creation of new values and norms, as the theory of macroculture proposes. We also found that these new values were “diffused” from athletics to the field of politics and played a key role to the emergence of democracy.
    Keywords: Macroculture, sports, democracy, Classical Greece.
    JEL: D71 I28 Z13
    Date: 2012–05–08

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