nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2016‒09‒04
two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Competitive balance and assortative matching in the German Bundesliga By Sittl, Roman; Warnke, Arne Jonas
  2. Effects of a Red Card on Goal-Scoring in World Cup Football Matches By Cerveny, Jakub; van Ours, Jan C.; van Tuijl, Martin A.

  1. By: Sittl, Roman; Warnke, Arne Jonas
    Abstract: In this paper we consider trends in the distribution of player talent across association football clubs over time. Player talent is the most important prerequisite for team success in professional sports leagues and changes in players' assortativeness in regard to the clubs they play for may arguably be an important factor for changes in competitive balance. We offer a new approach for measuring player talent and its distribution - the partial correlation of each player with the goal margin. We use this measure to analyze the degree of competitive balance over time. This approach enables us to examine how player mobility drives competitive balance over time. Empirical results are based on 19 seasons of the first two divisions of the German Bundesliga as well as domestic cup games. Our results show a decrease in competitive balance over time; better teams tend to attract increasingly better players. We show that this is driven by an increasingly unequal inter-divisional distribution of teams, coaches and players, as well as increasing assortativeness in the 1st Bundesliga. We further demonstrate that player transfers between Bundesliga teams results in assortative matching between players and teams. These domestic transfers do not, however, explain the reduction in competitive balance over time. Furthermore, we show that UEFA Champions League payments may have contributed to the reduction in competitive balance over the last two decades.
    Keywords: competitive balance,uncertainty of outcome,player mobility,playing talent,football,association football,soccer,sports economics,Bundesliga,UEFA champions league
    JEL: Z2 J44 J63 L51 L83
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Cerveny, Jakub (Tilburg University); van Ours, Jan C. (Erasmus University Rotterdam); van Tuijl, Martin A. (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of the sending-off of a player on the goal-scoring rates in FIFA World Cup matches in tournaments from 1998 to 2014. We use a hazard rate framework in which the effect of a red card is modeled as a shift in the goal-scoring rate. A red card may harm the team that receives a red card and may be beneficial for their opponent. Indeed, we find that the goal-scoring rate of the sanctioned team goes down, while the goal-scoring rate of the non-sanctioned team goes up.
    Keywords: association football, goal-scoring, red card, World Cup football matches
    JEL: Z29
    Date: 2016–08

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