nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2020‒01‒06
six papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Robust Winner Determination in Positional Scoring Rules with Uncertain Weights By Paolo Viappiani
  2. Is it a Fallacy to Believe in the Hot Hand in the NBA Three-Point Contest? By Miller, Joshua Benjamin; Sanjurjo, Adam
  3. Learning from Forced Completion vs the Option to Opt Out: An Experiment on a Hybrid of the Game of 21 and the Centipede Game By Flannery, Timothy; Sibert, Cara Elisabeth
  4. A Visible (Hot) Hand? Expert Players Bet on the Hot Hand and Win By Miller, Joshua Benjamin; Sanjurjo, Adam
  5. Pulling Starters By Finigan, Duncan; Mills, Brian; Stone, Daniel
  6. The crowdfunding of sport -paving the way to shared sponsorship? By Marie-Josèphe Leroux-Sostenes; Emmanuel Bayle

  1. By: Paolo Viappiani (DECISION - LIP6 - SU - Sorbonne Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Scoring rules constitute a particularly popular technique for aggregating a set of rank-ings. However, setting the weights associated to rank positions is a crucial task, as different instantiations of the weights can often lead to different winners. In this work we adopt minimax regret as a robust criterion for determining the winner in the presence of uncertainty over the weights. Focusing on two general settings (non-increasing weights and convex sequences of non-increasing weights) we provide a characterization of the minimax regret rule in terms of cumulative ranks, allowing a quick computation of the winner. We then analyze the properties of using minimax regret as a social choice function. Finally we provide some test cases of rank aggregation using the proposed method.
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Miller, Joshua Benjamin (The University of Melbourne); Sanjurjo, Adam
    Abstract: The NBA Three-Point Contest has been considered an ideal setting to study the hot hand, as it showcases the elite professional shooters that hot hand beliefs are typically directed towards, but in an environment that eliminates many of the confounds present in game action. We collect 29 years of NBA Three-Point Contest television broadcast data (1986-2015), apply a statistical approach that improves on those of previous studies, and find considerable evidence of hot hand shooting in and across individuals. Our results support fans' and experts' widely held belief in the hot hand among NBA shooters.
    Date: 2018–10–30
  3. By: Flannery, Timothy; Sibert, Cara Elisabeth
    Abstract: This study examines how the option to opt out facilitates learning in the Game of 21. In the treatment, players have the opportunity to opt out of the game at any time, similar to a centipede game, and receive a decreasing payment for doing so as the game progresses. Players in the control play the standard Game of 21. Additionally, the experiment introduces a novel concept of a "dumb computer" that always makes suboptimal decisions. Performance against the "dumb computer" determines the level of foresight of subjects in order to compare the amount of learning between the hybrid centipede 21 game and the traditional Game of 21. Results indicate players drop out strategically and earlier as the game progresses with a few ending immediately as the backward induction solution predicts; however, contrary to our predictions, players learn better when forced to finish the game. Some of the difference in learning occurs due to a small set of players giving up when they have the option to opt out.
    Date: 2019–06–26
  4. By: Miller, Joshua Benjamin (The University of Melbourne); Sanjurjo, Adam
    Abstract: Since its inception, the hot hand fallacy literature has tended to focus on whether the hot hand exists, rather than the fitness of hot hand beliefs. We provide the first evidence that people---here experienced practitioners---can profitably exploit their hot hand beliefs. In particular, using the data from the original hot hand field study we find that players' bets predict future outcomes. We use simulations to demonstrate how under-powered tests and misinterpreted effect sizes led the original study to the opposite conclusions
    Date: 2018–10–30
  5. By: Finigan, Duncan; Mills, Brian; Stone, Daniel
    Abstract: We study a fundamental strategic decision in baseball: when (if at all) to make the ``call to the bullpen'' and pull the starting pitcher. We first use a simple theoretical model to show that at the optimal time to pull the starter, the pitching change should yield a \emph{strict }improvement in current pitching quality (i.e., a strict decrease in runs allowed in the current inning). We then use detailed pitch-level data from the 2008-2017 seasons to estimate the effects of pulling the starter on both runs allowed in the current inning and on win probability. We argue that the pulling starter decision is plausibly ``as good as random'' conditional on the large set of included covariates, but acknowledge the lack of true randomization. We find that the predicted effect of pulling the starter on runs allowed is indeed negative, but the effect on win probability is a precise zero. We then examine how these choices are affected by game situations and recent game events, including a measure of lucky hitting performance, and find only scattered and limited evidence of biases. We interpret the results to imply that call to the bullpen decisions are approximately Bayesian-optimal. However, there was a steady downward trend in the mean inning that starters were pulled over a period of decades prior to our sample time-frame. Thus, even if managers make approximately Bayesian-optimal choices now, this is likely due to not only learning from their own experiences, but also learning from prior generations and the long-term stability of the baseball context.
    Date: 2019–08–22
  6. By: Marie-Josèphe Leroux-Sostenes; Emmanuel Bayle (Centre de Recherche Magellan - UJML - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III - Université de Lyon - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Lyon)
    Abstract: A B S T R AC T The rise of crowdfunding as a way of funding sport projects has prompted numerous companies to become involved in these campaigns. This paper explores a model of crowdfunding in which a sponsor company supports individual projects. A qualitative study based on interviews with crowdfunding executives showed that campaigns are more likely to be successful if they include a sponsor company, and that crowdfunding platforms and the projects they support have become a new interactive, online communication tool for sponsors. Our data revealed four modes of corporate involvement in crowdfunding and fourteen objectives companies hope to achieve through this involvement. Three of these objectives can be attained exclusively via this communication tool. In addition, companies focus on five "success factors" when deciding whether or not to sponsor a crowdfunding campaign. This model of corporate-supported crowdfunding is creating a new paradigm of "shared" (by a community) sponsorship that will complement the current system of "confined" (to specific companies) sponsorship.
    Date: 2019

This nep-spo issue is ©2020 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.