nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2020‒02‒24
three papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  2. Revenue and Superstars in individual sports. The case of professional men's tennis and golf By Antoine Feuillet; Nicolas Scelles; Christophe Durand
  3. Skill in online cash and tournament poker – evidence from India By Deepak Dhayanithy

  1. By: Inna Zaytseva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Daniil Shaposhnikov (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: There is an established tradition in soccer society, for both soccer fans and club managers to value forwards more than defensive players. However, the soccer rules imply an equally important role of goals scored and goals conceded in a team win. This paper employs these facts to formulate the research hypothesis of undervalued defensive, compared to offensive actions, by professional soccer clubs, known as Moneyball phenomenon in sports economics literature. To test our hypothesis, we use two separate data sets at team and player level (1,224 and 776 observations correspondingly) from two seasons (2017-2019) of the German Bundesliga. We estimate the two groups of models with a dependent variable being, correspondingly, an indicator of win and a market value. We keep the set of controls as similar as possible to make the results of the two groups of models comparable with each other, in terms of a relative contribution of offensive and defensive actions. Offensive actions are measured by shots and key passes, while tackles, interceptions and clearances stay for defensive actions variables. All the key variables are normalized, and the resulting estimates demonstrate both “absolute” and “relative” Moneyball in offense vs defense in different model specifications. This is the first introduction of a term and method of a “relative” Moneyball, to our knowledge. In addition, our results show that there is room for improvement for Bundesliga clubs’ cost of win efficiency, in redistributing funds from offense to defense, at least to some extent
    Keywords: Moneyball, soccer, offense, defense, labor market failure, Bundesliga
    JEL: Z22 D43 J44
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Antoine Feuillet (CesamS - Centre d'étude sport et actions motrices - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université); Nicolas Scelles (Manchester Metropolitan University Business School - MMU - Manchester Metropolitan University); Christophe Durand (CesamS - Centre d'étude sport et actions motrices - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université)
    Abstract: The winner-take-all and Superstars theories are complementary here within an approach which favours the concentration of revenues by dominant actors. The cases studied men's tennis and golf, highlight that tennis players' revenues are less balanced. This imbalance is not explained by the prize distribution structure in the tournaments of both sports but by the turnover lower in tennis than in golf. It establishes the existence of a specific labour market in tennis characterised by a concentration of revenues by a few players, including over time.
    Abstract: Les théories du winner-take-all et des Superstars sont ici complémentaires dans une approche qui privilégie la concentration des revenus par les acteurs dominants. Les cas étudiés, tennis et golf masculins, rendent compte d'un déséquilibre plus fort en tennis des revenus entre joueurs. Ce déséquilibre ne s'explique pas par la structure de distribution des prix dans les tournois des deux sports mais par le turnover du rang sportif moins élevé en tennis qu'en golf. Il révèle la présence d'un marché du travail spécifique en tennis marqué par une concentration des gains sur un nombre de joueurs réduit, qui s'établit sur plusieurs saisons.
    Keywords: winner-take-all,Superstars,tennis,golf,prize money,turnover,turnover Keywords: winner-take-all
    Date: 2018–10–01
  3. By: Deepak Dhayanithy (Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode)
    Abstract: This paper employs player level online cash and tournament poker performance data to examine empirically whether there is indeed performance persistence and hence evidence of skill in online cash and tournament poker, in the India context. The paper is novel in two respects. First is in its use of long term performance data (return on investment, RoI), of a year, to rank players and subsequent examination of whether top player perform better than the rest. Second is in its examination of effects size of the differences in RoI between top players and others. Top decile (per base year RoI) players do indeed out-perform the rest of the active field in the performance year (measured using RoI). Difference between top decile players’ RoI performance and others is‘very large’ in the case of online cash games, and this difference is ‘small’ in the case of online poker tournaments. Through this examination of effects sizes in the India online poker context of a well established poker operator, the expert view of tournaments being inherently high variance formats is supported. In both cohorts, the hypothesis that poker is a game of skill is supported through the t-tests of average RoI.
    Date: 2019–09

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