nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2018‒10‒15
three papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Choking under Pressure: Evidence of the Causal Effect of Audience Size on Performance By Böheim, René; Grübl, Dominik; Lackner, Mario
  2. European club football after “five treatments” with Financial Fair Play – time for an assessment By Egon Franck
  3. Racers f attractive looks, popularity, and performance: How do speedboat racers react to fans f expectations? By Eiji Yamamura; Ryohei Hayashi; Yoshiro Tsutsui; Fumio Ohtake

  1. By: Böheim, René (University of Linz); Grübl, Dominik (University of Linz); Lackner, Mario (University of Linz)
    Abstract: We analyze performance under pressure and estimate the causal effect of audience size on the success of free throws in top-level professional basketball. We use data from the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the seasons 2007/08 through 2015/16. We exploit the exogenous variation in weather conditions on game day to establish a causal link between attendance size and performance. Our results confirm a sizeable and strong negative effect of the number of spectators on performance. Home teams in (non-critical) situations at the beginning of games perform worse when the audience is larger. This result is consistent with the theory of a home choke rather than a home field advantage. Our results have potentially large implications for general questions of workplace design and help to further understand how the social environment affects performance. We demonstrate that the amount of support, i.e. positive feedback, from a friendly audience does affect performance.
    Keywords: performance under pressure, choking, paradoxical performance effects on incentives, social pressure
    JEL: D03 J24 M54
    Date: 2018–08
  2. By: Egon Franck (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations impacted on European club football. After five distinct applications of the break-even requirement, which represents the cornerstone of these regulations, it is time for an assessment. How has the situation in European top-division football changed since the FFP regulation? The most recent financial data show that European club football is characterized by significant financial recovery and further polarization. How has the FFP regulation presumably affected this development? This article discusses plausible reasons why FFP has contributed to financial recovery but has not aggravated polarization. Understanding the drivers of polarization is essential before taking further regulatory steps.
    Keywords: football, regulation, financial fair play, financial recovery, polarization
    JEL: L83 L49 L51
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Eiji Yamamura (Department of Economics, Seinan Gakuin University); Ryohei Hayashi (Department of Political-Economics, Tokai University); Yoshiro Tsutsui (Department of Economics, Konan University); Fumio Ohtake (Department of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Using a large sample of individual-level records in Japan speedboat racing where men and women racers participate, we investigated how racers f performance meets fans f pre-race expectations. To control for endogeneity bias, we measured the order of racers f attractiveness randomly determined in each race and then used this order as instrument for measuring racers f popularity. The fixed effects IV estimations revealed the following. (1) Racers who are more attractive than their competitors tend to be more popular even after controlling for the condition of the race, racer ability, and other characteristics. (2) More popular men show better performance in the race even if the reward does not vary according to popularity; such tendency is not observed for women. This study contributes a novel setting for determining the expectation enhancing effects of physical attractiveness.
    Keywords: Beauty; Race betting odds; Popularity; Performance; Gender difference; Tournaments
    JEL: J16 L83 M52
    Date: 2018–10

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