nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒03‒04
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Twelve Eyes See More Than Eight. Referee Bias and the Introduction of Additional Assistant Referees in Soccer By Verstraeten, Olivier; Baert, Stijn
  2. Home Advantage in European International Soccer: Which Dimension of Distance Matters? By van Damme, Nils; Baert, Stijn
  3. Do Male Managers Increase Risk-Taking of Female Teams? Evidence from the NCAA By Böheim, René; Freudenthaler, Christoph; Lackner, Mario
  4. Goals, Constraints, and Public Assignment: A Field Study of the UEFA Champions League By Alistair Wilson

  1. By: Verstraeten, Olivier (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    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
    JEL: L83 J44 Z00
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: van Damme, Nils (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    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: 2019–02
  3. By: Böheim, René (University of Linz); Freudenthaler, Christoph (University of Linz); Lackner, Mario (University of Linz)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of the coach's gender on risk-taking in women sports teams using data taken from National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball games. We find that the coach's gender has a sizable and significant effect on risk-taking, a finding that is robust to several empirical strategies, including an instrumental variable approach. In particular, we find that risk-taking among teams with a male head coach is 5 percentage points greater than that in teams with a female head coach. This gap is persistent over time and across intermediate game standings. The fact that risk-taking has a significantly positive effect on game success suggests that female coaches should be more risk-taking.
    Keywords: corporate risk-taking, gender difference, success
    JEL: J16 J44
    Date: 2019–02
  4. By: Alistair Wilson
    Abstract: We analyze a dynamic matching mechanism developed for the UEFA Champions League, the largest and most-watched football club competition worldwide. First, we theoretically characterize the assignment rule developed by UEFA by solving a complex constrained assignment problem with a publicly verifiable draw. Then, using a structural model of the assignments and data from the UEFA Champions League 2004 and 2018 seasons we show that the constraints cause quantitatively large spillovers to unconstrained teams. Nevertheless, we conclude that the UEFA draw is close to a constrained-best in terms of fairness. Moreover, we find that it is feasible to substantially reduce the distortions by only marginally slacking the constraints.
    Date: 2018–01

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