nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒06‒17
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Let’s meet as usual: Do games on non-frequent days differ? Evidence from top European soccer leagues By Goller, Daniel; Krumer, Alex
  2. Current and past trends in physical activity in four OECD countries: Empirical results from time use surveys in Canada, France, Germany and the United States By Sahara Graf; Michele Cecchini
  3. Individual Labor Market Effects of Local Public Expenditures on Sports By Tim Pawlowski; Carina Steckenleiter; Tim Wallrafen; Michael Lechner
  4. Information, prices and efficiency in an online betting market By Guy Elaad; J. James Reade; Carl Singleton

  1. By: Goller, Daniel; Krumer, Alex
    Abstract: Balancing the allocation of games in sports competitions is an important organizational task that can have serious financial consequences. In this paper, we examine data from 9,930 soccer games played in the top German, Spanish, French, and English soccer leagues between 2007/2008 and 2016/2017. Using a machine learning technique for variable selection and applying a semi-parametric analysis of radius matching on the propensity score, we find that all four leagues have a lower attendance as the share of stadium capacity in games that take place on non-frequently played days compared to the frequently played days. In addition, we find that in all leagues except for the English Premier League, there is a significantly lower home advantage for the underdog teams on non-frequent days. Our findings suggest that the current schedule favors underdog teams with fewer home games on non-frequent days. Therefore, to increase the fairness of the competitions, it is necessary to adjust the allocation of the home games on non-frequent days in a way that eliminates any advantage driven by the schedule. These findings have implications for the stakeholders of the leagues, as well as for coaches and players.
    Keywords: Performance, schedule effects, soccer
    JEL: D00 L00 D20
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: Sahara Graf (OECD); Michele Cecchini (OECD)
    Abstract: Physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours have been rising throughout the OECD in recent decades. Lack of physical activity and excessive sedentary behaviour are well-known risk factors for non-communicable diseases, such as heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. As such, reducing physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours and increasing daily physical activity has become a crucial public health issue. Using nationally representative time use surveys, this paper presents the trends in physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviours over time, in Canada, France, Germany and the United States. A particular focus of this analysis is placed on sport activities. Men and women spend between 80 and 105 minutes daily in physical activities, with women spending more time in domestic physical activity, and men more time in sports. Participation in sport activities has been increasing over time, but no global trend for time spent in sports is visible; additionally, women are consistently less likely than men to report engagement in sport activities. Meanwhile, participation in active travel has been decreasing, displaying no overall trend for duration either. Education-based inequalities for sports participation are higher in men than in women, while income-based inequalities for sports are higher in women than in men. Men and women with a low level of income are more likely to report active travel in all countries. Additional MET (metabolic equivalent) hours spent in sports and non-sports leisure PA, domestic PA, and active travel are all associated with an increase in total PA, while work-related PA as well as other activities are associated with a decrease in total PA. At the individual level, an increase in time spent in all previously mentioned activities is associated with a decrease in total time spent in sedentary behaviours.
    JEL: I1 C02 D1
    Date: 2019–06–19
  3. By: Tim Pawlowski; Carina Steckenleiter; Tim Wallrafen; Michael Lechner
    Abstract: By merging administrative data on public finances of all municipalities in Germany with individual data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we explore whether local public expenditures on sports facilities influences individual labor market outcomes. Our identification strategy follows a selection-on-observables approach and exploits the panel structure of the data covering 12 years between 2001 and 2012. The results of our matching estimations suggest that both women and men living in municipalities with high expenditure levels benefit, exhibiting approximately 7 percent of additional household net income on average. However, this income effect is fully captured by earning gains for men rather than women living in the household. Additional analysis suggests, that these gender differences, which can also be observed in terms of working time, hourly wage and employment status, appear plausible since women in the age cohort under consideration are less likely than men to engage in sports in general and in any of the publicly funded sports facilities in particular. Moreover, improved well-being and health are possible mechanisms that determine how the positive labor market effects for men may unfold.
    Keywords: Labor market effects, public expenditures, sports, health, well-being
    JEL: H72 H75 J31
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Guy Elaad (Department of Economics and Business Management, Ariel University); J. James Reade (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: We study the odds (or prices) set by fifty-one online bookmakers for the result outcomes in over 16,000 association football matches in England since 2010. Adapting a methodology typically used to evaluate forecast efficiency, we test the Efficient Market Hypothesis in this context. We find odds are generally not biased when compared against actual match outcomes, both in terms of favourite-longshot or outcome types. But individual bookmakers are not efficient. Their own odds do not appear to use fully the information contained in their competitors' odds.
    Keywords: prediction markets, Efficient Market Hypothesis, favourite-longshot bias
    JEL: C53 G14
    Date: 2019–04

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