nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2014‒04‒05
two papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
Universidade da Beira Interior and Universidade de Lisboa

  1. Does Versatility Matter in Match-Play Sports? Evidence from Sumo Wrestling By Sang-Hyop Lee; Sumner La Croix

  1. By: Sang-Hyop Lee (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa & Sea Grant); Sumner La Croix (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: In match-play sports, the best players seem to be both versatile and unpredictable in their use of techniques during play. Our analysis extends empirical work on player versatility and unpredictability to the Japanese sport of sumo wrestling. While earlier studies of tennis serves and football penalty kicks were motivated by game-theoretic analysis of choices made by players to start a match, our study is motivated by labor market theories that tie the success of workers to their portfolio of skills and its application to particular situations. We analyze panel data on tournament records of top sumo wrestlers participating in Japan’s grand sumo tournaments over the 1995-2004 period to test whether players with better physical attributes and a balanced, unpredictable portfolio of winning techniques are more likely to win matches. Our econometric results show that better physical attributes, a diverse portfolio of techniques to finish a match, and unpredictable use of techniques are all associated with more wins per tournament.
    Keywords: sumo, match play, tournament, belief learning
    Date: 2014–03
  2. By: Michela Ponzo; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: We investigate to what extent crowd support contributes to the home advantage in soccer, disentangling this effect from other mechanisms such as players’ familiarity with the stadium and travel fatigue. To evaluate the relevance of crowd support in determining home advantage we analyze same-stadium derbies (matches among teams that share the same stadium) in which teams enjoy different levels of support from the crowd – the home team has many more supporters, mainly because of season ticket holders – while teams do not differ in terms of travel fatigue or familiarity with the stadium. Our estimation results suggest the existence of a sizable crowd support’s effect on the home advantage generated both through the influence on referee’s decisions and through the encouragement of players’ performance.
    Keywords: Soccer, Home Advantage, Crowd Support, Social Pressure, Team Performance, Attendance, Travel Fatigue, Stadium Familiarity, Referee Home Bias
    JEL: D89 L83 D81
    Date: 2014–03

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