nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2016‒09‒18
two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Family Connections in Motorsports: The Case of Formula One By Craig A. Depken II; Peter A. Groothuis; Kurt W. Rotthoff
  2. Without my medal on my mind: counterfactual thinking and other determinants of athlete emotions By Laura Kudrna; Georgios Kavetsos; Chloe Foy; Paul Dolan

  1. By: Craig A. Depken II; Peter A. Groothuis; Kurt W. Rotthoff
    Abstract: Many careers find within-family career following common including law, politics, business, agriculture, medicine, entertainment, and professional sports. As children enter the same career as their parents, there are potential benefits: physical-capital transfer, human-capital transfer, brandname- loyalty transfer, and/or nepotism. In Formula One (auto racing) career following is also common where many sons follow their father into racing and many brothers race at the same time. Using a panel describing the annual statistics for drivers from 1953-2011, we find that the brothers of Formula One drivers appear to benefit from human capital transfer and nepotism but that sons gain little from human capital transfer and do not enjoy nepotism. We do find, however, that only the best drivers have sons who follow them into racing suggesting that sons can extend the brand name-loyalty their famous fathers have created. Key Words: Motorsports, Nepotism, Human Capital, Brand Loyalty.
    JEL: L83 Z20
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Laura Kudrna; Georgios Kavetsos; Chloe Foy; Paul Dolan
    Abstract: How achievement makes people feel depends upon counterfactual thoughts about what could have been. One body of evidence for this comes from studies of observer ratings of Olympians' happiness, which suggests that category-based counterfactual thoughts affect the perceived happiness of Olympians. Silver medallists are less happy than bronze medallists, arguably because silver medallists think about how they could have won gold, and bronze medallists feel lucky to be on the podium at all. We contribute to this literature by showing that the effect of category-based counterfactual thoughts on Olympians' happiness depends on the margin by which athletes secured their medal. Although gold and bronze medallists appeared happier the better they performed, silver medallists were less happy when they were closer to winning gold. This suggests silver medallists feel disappointed relative to gold medallists but that bronzes do not feel particularly fortunate relative to non-medal winners. Teams were rated as happier than individual athletes and Olympians happier than Paralympians. Observers' ethnic and gender similarity to athletes negatively influence happiness ratings; whilst observers' self-reported happiness has a negligible effect on ratings. We integrate these findings with prior literature on counterfactual thinking and the determinants of happiness, and suggest avenues for future research.
    Keywords: counterfactual thinking; close calls; relative status; happiness; Olympic Games
    JEL: D60 I31
    Date: 2016–06

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