nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒29
five papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Measuring competitive balance in Formula One Racing By Budzinski, Oliver; Feddersen, Arne
  2. Do high wage footballers play for high wage teams? By Rachel Scarfe; Carl Singleton; Paul Telemo
  3. Going with your gut: the (in)accuracy of forecast revisions in a football score prediction game By Carl Singleton; J. James Reade; Alasdair Brown
  4. Measuring the influence of recurring sporting events on freeway characteristics By Seeherman, Joshua; Anderson, Paul
  5. Gender Differences in Tournament Performance Over Time: Can Women Catch-Up with Men? By Booth, Alison L; Hayashi, Ryohei; Yamamura, Eiji

  1. By: Budzinski, Oliver; Feddersen, Arne
    Abstract: The Formula One Championship (F1) is one of the biggest sports businesses in the world. But, however, it seems to astonish that only very few scholarly articles analyze the F1 business. The aim of this study is to contribute to closing two gaps in the existing literature: it contributes (1) to the (sports) economic analysis of the F1 business and (2) to the literature on competitive balance in non-team sports. Like competitive balance in team sport leagues, also for F1 racing three dimensions can be distinguished: (a) race-specific competitive balance, (b) within-season competitive balance, and (c) between-season competitive balance. In addition to classical tools and data, some new and F1 specific indicators, like average lead changes or leading distance, are employed. Also, pitfalls induced especially by the used data source or calculation method are highlighted.
    Keywords: Formula One Motor Racing,competitive balance,empirical industry study,sports economics
    JEL: L83 C01 L13 M21
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Rachel Scarfe (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh); Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Paul Telemo (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: Intuition and sports knowledge suggest the best professional footballers play for the best teams, i.e. positive assortative matching between employer and employee on productivity. We use wage data for all players and teams in Major League Soccer between 2007 and 2017 and find that estimated player and team fixed wage effects are negatively correlated. This is a puzzle, which could be explained if players match to teams according to some compensating wage differential, for example from a desire to play for successful teams. The estimated wage premiums of teams are highly and negatively correlated with their success in the league (productivity).
    Keywords: firm-specific wages, AKM wage equation, matching, superstar pay
    JEL: J31 J49
    Date: 2019–04–07
  3. By: Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading); J. James Reade (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Alasdair Brown (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: We study individuals who each chose to predict the outcome of fixed events in an online competition, namely all football matches during the 2017/18 season of the English Premier League. We ask whether any forecast revisions the individuals chose to make (or not), before the matches began, improved their likelihood of predicting correct scorelines and results. Against what theory might expect, we show how revisions tended towards significantly worse forecasting performance, suggesting that individuals should have stuck with their initial judgements, or their 'gut instincts'. This result is robust to both differences in the average forecasting ability of individuals and the predictability of matches. We find evidence that this is because revisions to the forecast number of goals scored in football matches are generally excessive, especially when these forecasts were increased rather than decreased.
    Keywords: Judgement revision, Prediction making, Forecasting behaviour, Expectations
    JEL: C53 C23 D84
    Date: 2019–04–09
  4. By: Seeherman, Joshua; Anderson, Paul
    Abstract: Freeway traffic is subject to the effects of recurring and non-recurring events. Changes in the traffic stream as a result of recurring special events, specifically sports, is an area that is not well researched. This study examined freeway detectors adjacent to two baseball stadiums in California to analyze the contribution of a baseball game to freeway flow and occupancy for weekday evening games.  In addition, hourly volumes on local rail transit were analyzed in the San Francisco case. Findings include a statistically significant effect of baseball increasing the flow by approximately 1,000 vehicles over the afternoon commute in both locations. San Francisco volumes were influenced by day-of-week, type of opponent, as well as starting pitcher. Games on a Friday against their noted rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers produced the highest volumes with 4,000 vehicles more than the average weekday evening baseball game.  Anaheim volumes were only affected by month-of-year. As cities explore transportation options to their sporting venues, it is important to take an inventory of the impact of events on the existing network.
    Keywords: Engineering, Special events, baseball, freeways, traffic, California
    Date: 2017–12–01
  5. By: Booth, Alison L; Hayashi, Ryohei; Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: We investigate the evolution over time of gender differences in single-sex and mixed-sex tournaments, using field data from the Japanese Speedboat Racing Association (JSRA). The JSRA randomly assigned individuals into single-sex and mixed-sex races, enabling us to model learning in different environments. Our dataset comprises over one million person-race observations of men and women making their speedboat racing debut between 1997 and 2012. We find that the average debut-woman's performance (measured by lane-changing and place-in-race) improves faster than debut-men's in single-sex races, but more slowly than debut-men's in mixed-sex races. For the average male racer, the opposite is true.
    Keywords: Competition; experience; Gender; mixed-sex; peer effects; random assignment; single-sex; tournaments
    JEL: J16 L83 M5
    Date: 2019–04

This nep-spo issue is ©2019 by Humberto Barreto. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.