nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2018‒05‒21
three papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. Emotional expressions by sports teams: an analysis of world soccer player portraits By Hopfensitz, Astrid; Mantilla, Cesar
  2. Cognitive performance in competitive environments: evidence from a natural experiment By González-Díaz, Julio; Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio
  3. Bidding for talent in sport. By Roberto Burguet; Jozsef Sakovics

  1. By: Hopfensitz, Astrid; Mantilla, Cesar
    Abstract: Emotion display serves as incentives or deterrents for others’ in many social interactions. We study the portrayal of anger and happiness, two emotions associated with dominance, and its relationship to team performance in a high stake environment. We analyze 4,318 pictures of players from 304 participating teams in twelve editions (1970-2014) of the FIFA Soccer World Cup, and use automated face-reading (FaceReader 6) to evaluate the display of anger and happiness. We observe that the display of both anger and happiness is positively correlated with team performance in the World Cup. Teams whose players display more anger, an emotion associated with competitiveness, concede fewer goals. Teams whose players display more happiness, an emotion associated with confidence, score more goals. We show that this result is driven by less than half the players in a team.
    Keywords: emotions; facial expressions; anger; happiness; contests
    JEL: D91 L83
    Date: 2018–04
  2. By: González-Díaz, Julio; Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio
    Abstract: Competitive situations that involve cognitive performance are widespread in labor markets, schools, and organizations, including test taking, competition for promotion in firms, and others. This paper studies cognitive performance in a high-stakes competitive environment. The analysis takes advantage of a natural experiment that randomly allocates different emotional states across professional subjects competing in a cognitive task. The setting is a chess match where two players play an even number of chess games against each other alternating the color of the pieces. White pieces confer an advantage for winning a chess game and who starts the match with these pieces is randomly decided. The theoretical analysis shows that in this setting there is no rational reason why winning frequencies should be better than 50-50 in favor of the player drawing the white pieces in the first game. Yet, we find that observed frequencies are about 60-40. Differences in performance are also stronger when the competing subjects are more similar in cognitive skills. We conclude that the evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that psychological elements affect cognitive performance in the face of experience, competition, and high stakes.
    Keywords: cognitive performance; competition; natural experiments
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2016–07–01
  3. By: Roberto Burguet; Jozsef Sakovics
    Abstract: We present a novel micro-structure for the market for athletes. Clubs simultaneously target bids at the players, in (Nash) equilibrium internalizing whether - depending on the other clubs' bids - a player not hired would play for the competition. For low/inelastic talent supply, we support - and generalize to heterogeneous players - the Coasian results of Rottenberg (1956) and Fort and Quirk (1995): talent allocation is efficient and independent of initial "ownership" and revenue sharing arrangements. We also characterize equilibria for high/elastic supply. The analysis uses a non-specic club objective with an endogenously derived trade-off between pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits.
    Keywords: competitive balance, competitive foreclosure, contested work-
    JEL: J4 L1 L2
    Date: 2018–01

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