nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Cognitive Performance in the Home Office - Evidence from Professional Chess By Künn, Steffen; Seel, Christian; Zegners, Dainis
  2. Strategic Manipulations in Round-Robin Tournaments By Krumer, Alex; Megidish, Reut; Sela, Aner
  3. Why are we so good at football, and they so bad? Institutions and national footballing performance By Meshael Batarfi; J. James Reade
  4. On the Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Best-of-Three All-Pay Auctions By Sela, Aner

  1. By: Künn, Steffen (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, Macro, International & Labour Economics); Seel, Christian (RS: GSBE Theme Conflict & Cooperation, Microeconomics & Public Economics); Zegners, Dainis
    Abstract: During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, traditional (offline) chess tournaments were prohibited and instead held online. We exploit this as a unique setting to assess the impact of moving offline tasks online on the cognitive performance of individuals. We use the Artificial Intelligence embodied in a powerful chess engine to assess the quality of chess moves and associated errors. Using within-player comparisons, we find a statistically and economically significant decrease in performance when competing online compared to competing offline. Our results suggest that teleworking might have adverse effects on workers performing cognitive tasks.
    JEL: H12 L23 M11 M54
    Date: 2020–07–14
  2. By: Krumer, Alex; Megidish, Reut; Sela, Aner
    Abstract: We study round-robin tournaments with four symmetric players and two identical prizes where players compete against each other in games modeled as an all-pay contest. We demonstrate that in this common structure players may have an incentive to manipulate the results, namely, depending on the outcomes of the first round, a player may have an incentive to lose in the second round in order to maximize his expected payoff in the tournament.
    Date: 2020–02
  3. By: Meshael Batarfi (Department of Economics, University of Reading); J. James Reade (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: The production technology in football is identical for each team that competes. All around the world, a field, goalposts and a ball is all that is required, in addition to players. Yet at each country's highest level, national football teams, vast differences exist across countries. This paper sketches out broad patterns in this variation in performance, and seeks to understand why some countries are very good, whilst others very poor. We investigate a range of macroeconomic, demographic and other explanations and consider the extent to which they explain the observed variation in footballing performance historically. We find that higher level of GDP helps nations to win more often, but that population hinders this. A more developed domestic footballing structure appears to be helpful too.
    Keywords: Development, contests, sport
    JEL: O1 C20 L83
    Date: 2020–07–07
  4. By: Sela, Aner
    Abstract: We study best-of-three all-pay auctions with two players who compete in three stages with a single match per stage. The first player to win two matches wins the contest. We assume that a prize sum is given, and show that if players are symmetric, the allocation of prizes does not have any effect on the players' expected total effort. On the other hand, if players are asymmetric, in order to maximize the players' expected total effort, independent of the players' types, it is not optimal to allocate a single final prize to the winner. Instead, it is optimal to allocate intermediate prizes in the first stage or/and in the second stage in addition to the final prize. When the asymmetry of the players' types is sufficiently high, it is optimal to allocate intermediate prizes in both two first stages and a final prize to the winner.
    Date: 2020–02

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