nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2015‒02‒05
five papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. What happens when employers are free to discriminate? Evidence from the English Barclays Premier Fantasy Football League By Alex Bryson; Arnaud Chevalier
  2. Democracy and football. By Ignacio Lago-Peñas; Carlos Lago-Peñas; Santiago Lago-Peñas
  3. Late career of superstar soccer players: win, play, or gain? By Martina Gianecchini; Alberto Alvisi
  4. Form or function?: the effect of new sports stadia on property prices in London By Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt; Georgios Kavetsos
  5. Success is Something to Sneeze at: Influenza Mortality in Regions that Send Teams to the Super Bowl By Charles Stoecker; Nicholas J. Sanders; Alan Barreca

  1. By: Alex Bryson; Arnaud Chevalier
    Abstract: Research on employers’ hiring discrimination is limited by the unlawfulness of such activity. Consequently, researchers have focused on the intention to hire. Instead, we rely on a virtual labour market, the Fantasy Football Premier League, where employers can freely exercise their taste for racial discrimination in terms of hiring and firing. The setting allows us to eliminate co-worker, consumer-based and statistical discrimination as potential sources of discrimination, thus isolating the effects of taste-based discrimination. We find no evidence of racial discrimination, either in initial hiring or through the season, in a context where employers are fully aware of current and prospective workers’ productivity.
    Keywords: Race; labour market discrimination; football
    JEL: J15 J23 J24 J71 M51
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Ignacio Lago-Peñas; Carlos Lago-Peñas; Santiago Lago-Peñas
    Abstract: In this paper we explore to what extent political regimes affect the competitive balance in domestic football (soccer) leagues. Relying on data from around 50 European countries and over 2,000 domestic leagues, we show that the percentage of league competitions won by the most successful club in the country is substantially lower in democracies than in non-democracies. Democratic transitions and higher levels of democracy trigger pressures to increase the competitive balance in football leagues in two ways. First, the link between non-democracies and specific teams breaks when a country experiences a transition to democracy. Second, the economic liberalization that takes place in transitions to democracy disperses resources and generates competition among descending and ascending teams. Finally, the competitive balance of domestic leagues has not been greatly affected by the Bosman transfer ruling, a sectorial liberalization shock on football labor markets.
    Keywords: Democracy, Football, Market, Political Regime, Transition
    JEL: L83 P52
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Martina Gianecchini (University of Padova); Alberto Alvisi (University of Padova)
    Date: 2015–01
  4. By: Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt; Georgios Kavetsos
    Abstract: Professional sports facilities are among the most expensive development projects. Assessing the external effects related to these and the channels through which these effects operate is a challenging task. We propose a strategy to value the external effects stadia deliver to their neighbourhoods based on the variation of property prices. Our strategy allows for unobserved spatial heterogeneity, anticipation effects, and disentangles the stadium’s function as a sports facility from its form as a physical structure that (visually) dominates the neighbourhood. We apply this strategy to two of the largest stadium projects of the recent decade, the New Wembley and the Emirates Stadium in London. Our results suggest there are positive stadium effects on property prices, which are large compared to construction costs. Notable anticipation effects are found immediately following the announcement of the stadium plans. We further argue that stadium architecture plays a role in promoting positive spillovers to the neighbourhood.
    Keywords: neighbourhood amenities; property prices; sport; stadium impact
    JEL: F3 G3
    Date: 2014–01–07
  5. By: Charles Stoecker (Department of Global Health Management and Policy, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine); Nicholas J. Sanders (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary); Alan Barreca (Department of Economics, Tulane University)
    Abstract: Using county-level Vital Statistics of the United States data from 1974-2009, we employ a differences-in-differences framework comparing influenza mortality rates in Super Bowl-participating counties to non-participants. Having a local team in the Super Bowl causes an 18% increase in influenza deaths for the population over age 65, with evidence suggesting one mechanism is increased local socialization. Effects are most pronounced in years when the dominant influenza strain is more virulent, or when the Super Bowl occurs closer to the peak of influenza season. Mitigating influenza transmission at gatherings related to large spectator events could have substantial returns for public health.
    Keywords: influenza, externality, Super Bowl
    JEL: I18 L83 R53
    Date: 2015–01

This nep-spo issue is ©2015 by João Carlos Correia Leitão. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.