nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒02‒11
three papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Performance expectations of professional sport teams and in-season head coach dismissals: Evidence from the English Premier League and the French Ligue 1 using Monte Carlo simulation By Yvon Rocaboy; Marek Pavlik
  2. Home advantage in European international soccer: Which dimension of distance matters? By Van Damme, Nils; Baert, Stijn
  3. Twelve eyes see more than eight. Referee bias and the introduction of additional assistant referees in soccer By Verstraeten, Olivier; Baert, Stijn

  1. By: Yvon Rocaboy (Univ Rennes, CNRS, CREM - UMR 6211, F-35000 Rennes, France & Condorcet Center for Political Economy); Marek Pavlik (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Why and when are head coaches of professional football clubs dismissed, and what is the effect of coach dismissal on team performance? In this paper, we propose a new method for assessing the performance expectations of professional sport teams using Monte Carlo simulation. We investigate those questions by applying our method to the English Premier league and the French Ligue 1 football teams over the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. We found that coach dismissal is the result of a drop in the average expected performance compared with the performance expectations at the beginning of the season. We also show that dismissing a coach may enhance performance only if the team under-performed before the dismissal. There is no obstacle to using the same method for professional teams in other sports. The method is easily reproducible and does not require much information in order to be applied. Our findings confirm and extend previous studies, and do so by using generally accessible data.
    Keywords: coach dismissal; Monte Carlo simulation; team performance; payrolls; expectations
    Date: 2019–01
  2. By: Van Damme, Nils; Baert, Stijn
    Abstract: We investigate whether the home advantage in soccer differs by various dimensions of distance between the (regions of the) home and away teams: geographical distance, climatic differences, cultural distance, and disparities in economic prosperity. To this end, we analyse 2,012 recent matches played in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. We find that when the home team plays at a higher altitude, they benefit substantially more from their home advantage. Every 100 meters of altitude difference is associated with an increase in expected probability to win the match, as the home team, by 1.1 percentage points.
    Keywords: Soccer,home advantage,cultural distance,UEFA Champions League,UEFA Europa League
    JEL: L83 J44 Z00
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Verstraeten, Olivier; Baert, Stijn
    Abstract: We are the first to investigate whether the introduction of additional assistant referees in the UEFA Europa League (in season 2009-2010) and the UEFA Champions League (in season 2010-2011) was associated with lower referee bias. To this end, we analyse a unique database with pre- and within-game characteristics of all games in seven recent seasons in these leagues by means of bivariate probit regression models. We find evidence for substantial referee bias before the introduction of additional referees, while no such evidence is found after the introduction. Furthermore, additional assistants go hand in hand with more yellow cards for both home and away teams. We show that these findings are robust to multiple operationalisations of referee bias and that they are not just picking up a general time evolution towards less referee bias or the effect of parallel reforms.
    Keywords: Soccer,referee bias,assistant referees,bivariate probit model,UEFA Champions League,UEFA Europa League
    Date: 2019

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