nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2016‒10‒23
two papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. A Comparison of Anti-Doping Measures in Sporting Contests By Qin Wu; Raph C-Bayer; Liam Lenten
  2. Nash at Wimbledon: Evidence from Half a Million Serves By Romain Gauriot; Lionel Page

  1. By: Qin Wu (School of Economics, University of Adelaide); Raph C-Bayer (School of Economics, University of Adelaide); Liam Lenten (La Trobe University, Australia)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new anti-doping policy. In a conditional superannuation scheme athletes have to pay a certain fraction of their season income from sports into a superannuation fund from which they can only draw if they have never been caught doping. Theoretically, this fund has two important advantages over conventional anti-doping policies such as bans and fines. It does not lose its deterrence effect when athletes get near the end of their careers such as in the case of bans and it can deal with the widespread problem that drug cheats are often only found out much later when the detection technology has caught up with doping practices. We build a model of a dynamic sporting contest, implement it in the laboratory, and compare the performance of our policy to that of traditional policies. Our policy compares favorably with respect to doping prevention without reducing the quality of competition more than other measures do.
    Date: 2016–05
  2. By: Romain Gauriot; Lionel Page
    Abstract: Minimax and its generalization to mixed strategy Nash equilibrium is the cornerstone of our understanding of strategic situations that require decision makers to be unpredictable. Using a dataset of nearly half a million serves from over 3000 matches, we examine whether the behavior of professional tennis players is consistent with the Minimax Hypothesis. The large number of matches in our dataset requires the development of a novel statistical test, which we show is more powerful than the tests used in prior related studies. We find that win rates conform remarkably closely to the theory for men, but conform somewhat less neatly for women. We show that the behavior in the field of more highly ranked (i.e., better) players conforms more closely to theory.
    Date: 2016–10–13

This nep-spo issue is ©2016 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.