nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒01
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Mind the absent gap: Gender-specific competitiveness in non-professional sports By Pikos, Anna Katharina; Straub, Alexander
  2. The Effect of League Design on Spectator Attendance: A Regression Discontinuity Design Approach By Barry Reilly; Robert Witt

  1. By: Pikos, Anna Katharina; Straub, Alexander
    Abstract: There is wide evidence for gender differences in competitiveness and performance under pressure from experimental economics and single-sex professional sports. We analyze these differences in a sport with direct gender competition. Our unique data consists of over 500,000 observations from around 11,000 German ninepin bowling games of which around 15\% are from mixed-gender leagues. Men perform better against women on average but this is fully explained by differences in ability. Our results are robust to instrumenting for opposite gender using the sex composition of the opponent team. Surprisingly, gender differences in tight situations do not seem to play a role.
    Keywords: gender; gender competition; sports economics
    JEL: J16 D90
    Date: 2019–03
  2. By: Barry Reilly; Robert Witt
    Abstract: This paper exploits a sharp regression discontinuity design to identify the causal impact of the Scottish Premiership league 'split' on spectator match attendance. We use data drawn from the eighteen seasons for which this institutional arrangement has been in place for this soccer league. The causal effect of the 'split' is to raise average attendance over the last five rounds of games by about 60% for clubs that just qualify for the 'Championship League' section compared to those that do not. In addition, there is evidence that the 'split' also raises financial turnover for these clubs by about 24% over the year. Given the magnitude of these effects, the 'split' has the potential to widen financial disparities across clubs and increase the inequality of resources within the league. This has the potential to impair the league's long-run competitive balance.
    Keywords: spectator attendance, sharp RDD
    JEL: C21
    Date: 2019–03

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