nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2020‒09‒28
five papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Stadium attendance demand during the COVID-19 crisis: Early empirical evidence from Belarus By J. James Reade; Dominik Schreyer; Carl Singleton
  2. Social Pressure in the Stadiums: Do Agents Change Behavior without Crowd Support? By Scoppa, Vincenzo
  3. Psychological Pressure and the Right to Determine the Moves in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment By Kassis, Mark; Schmidt, Sascha L.; Schreyer, Dominik; Sutter, Matthias
  4. The Impact of Psychological Pressure and Psychological Traits on Performance – Experimental Evidence of Penalties in Handball By Christoph Buehren; Lisa Traeger
  5. Marketing evolution of performance enhancing drugs in professional cycling By J. J. Prinsloo; T. G. Pelser; P. S. Radikonyana

  1. By: J. James Reade (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Dominik Schreyer (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Unternehmensführung (WHU)); Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: In this note, we consider early evidence regarding behavioural responses to an emerging public health emergency. We explore patterns in stadium attendance demand by exploiting match-level data from the Belarusian Premier League (BPL), a football competition that kept playing unrestricted in front of spectators throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, unlike all other European professional sports leagues. We observe that stadium attendance demand in Belarus declined significantly in the initial period of maximum uncertainty. Surprisingly, demand then slowly recovered, despite the ongoing inherent risk to individuals from going to a match.
    Keywords: Attendance, COVID-19, Football/soccer, Spectator decision-making, public health
    JEL: D12 D81 D90 H12 I18 L83 Z20
    Date: 2020–07–14
  2. By: Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: Social pressure may have relevant consequences in many contexts but it is hard to evaluate it empirically. In this paper we exploit a natural experiment in soccer to provide clear evidence of its effects. We aim to study how social pressure from the crowd in a stadium affects both players and referees. While in normal matches crowd support may be correlated to a host of variables affecting the outcome of interest, we exploit the fact that after the health emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, soccer matches in top European Leagues have been allowed only behind closed doors, that is, without spectators in the stadiums. We use data of first and second division of 5 major European Leagues (Germany, Spain, England, Italy and Portugal) for the last 10 championships and compare several outcomes (determined by players' performance and referees' decisions) of matches played with crowd support to the same outcomes when matches were played without crowd. We find considerable effects of the pressure from the crowd: while with the support of the crowd a considerable home advantage emerges in various measures of performance (points, goals, shots, etc.), this advantage is almost halved when matches are behind closed doors. Similar effects are found for the behavior of referees: decisions of fouls, yellow cards, red cards and penalties that tend to favor home teams in normal matches, are much more balanced without crowd pressing on referees. The evidence we provide strongly supports the idea that social pressure has intense effects on agents' behavior.
    Keywords: social pressure, crowd support, emotional factors, social approval, performance, home advantage, referee's favoritism, COVID-19
    JEL: D91 M50 L83 Z2
    Date: 2020–08
  3. By: Kassis, Mark (WHU Vallendar); Schmidt, Sascha L. (WHU Vallendar); Schreyer, Dominik (WHU Vallendar); Sutter, Matthias (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods)
    Abstract: In this paper, we show that the right to determine the sequence of moves in a dynamic team tournament improves the chances of winning the contest. Because studying dynamic team tournaments – like R&D races – with interim feedback is difficult with company data, we examine decisions of highly paid professionals in soccer penalty shootouts and show that teams whose captains can decide about the shooting sequence are more likely to win the shootout. So, managerial decisions matter for outcomes of dynamic tournaments and we discuss potential reasons for this finding.
    Keywords: dynamic tournament, sports professionals, psychological pressure, value of decision rights, penalty shoot-outs, behavioral economics
    JEL: C93 D00 D81 D91 Z20
    Date: 2020–08
  4. By: Christoph Buehren (Clausthal University of Technology); Lisa Traeger (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: Our handball penalty field experiment analyses the influence of psychological traits and pressure on individual performance in sequential tournaments. We use a short ABBA-sequence with four throws for each subject and observe an average score rate of 60% in our sample of amateur league players. On game level, we find a weak and insignificant first-mover advantage that becomes stronger and significant if we control for psychological traits and pressure. On shot level, we also find no significant first-mover advantage on average. However, confident individuals have a higher scoring rate in the role of player A and less confident individuals in the role of player B. Moreover, ceteris paribus, player A scores more goals than player B under tournament incentives. Whereas self-esteem increases the probability to throw a goal in our experiment, risk-taking reduces it.
    Date: 2020
  5. By: J. J. Prinsloo (NWU Business School, North-West University); T. G. Pelser (University KwaZulu-Natal); P. S. Radikonyana (Municipal Demarcation Board, Pretoria)
    Abstract: The use of performance enhancing drugs (PED?s) is prevalent amongst professional cyclists. Over the past 100 years, the use there-off went through different evolutionary periods. The products (PED?s) evolved since the 1900?s. During the early 1900?s products like tobacco and alcohol were used. Fifty years later, after WWII, amphetamines (developed during the WWII period) was the product of choice. Since the late 1980?s another product evolution took place. Erythropoietin (EPO) a product designed for cancer patients started surfacing amongst cyclists. Ironically this product have one primary negative side effect ? sudden death. However, this did not curtail or stop the use. Positive effects were and are massive in terms of athlete performance. This paper look at the historical time line of the use of PED?s. The use there-off as well as the various effects it had and have on cyclists. Marketing (push strategy) did and do not drive this phenomena. Based on its ?submerged or underground? nature of products and its use, a ?pull strategy? seem to be the chosen marketing channel application. Intermediaries does not fir the accepted marketing profile. Rather medical qualified individuals seem to become links in these distribution channels. A qualitative literature empirical approach was used. Literature was scrutinised based on a convenient and purposive nature. Because of the sensitive and ethical nature of this paper, a pure qualitative interview approach was disregarded. The aim of this paper was to structure the historical time line as well as the evolution of these products.The findings, although sensitive, is two-fold in nature. These recommended suggestions are highly speculative and should be treated as alternative suggestions to the current situation.
    Keywords: Performance enhancing drugs (PED?s); Tour de France (TdF); Submerged markets; Marketing channel; ?Word of Mouth? communication
    JEL: M00

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