nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2020‒10‒12
seven papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Fuzzy DEA models for sports data analysis: The evaluation of the relative performances of professional (virtual) football teams By Pinto, Claudio
  2. Predicting the National Football League potential of college quarterbacks By Niven Winchester; J. Dean Craig
  3. Does Crowd Support Drive the Home Advantage in Professional Soccer? Evidence from German Ghost Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Kai Fischer; Justus Haucap
  4. Regression to the Tail: Why the Olympics Blow Up By Bent Flyvbjerg; Alexander Budzier; Daniel Lunn
  5. Betting Market Efficiency in the Presence of Unfamiliar Shocks: The Case of Ghost Games during the Covid-19 Pandemic By Kai Fischer; Justus Haucap
  6. The gender gap in aversion to COVID-19 exposure: evidence from professional tennis By Piotr Lewandowski; Zuzanna Kowalik
  7. Gender differences in overconfidence and decision-making in high-stakes competitions: Evidence from freediving contests By Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend

  1. By: Pinto, Claudio
    Abstract: The measurement of sports performances both of individual athletes and of an entire sports team, now highly widespread thanks to the enormous availability of sports data, is a crucial moment for professional sports clubs as the their survival is increasingly linked both to the results in the field obtained by its athletes and/or the team/s and to the achievement of many other sporting objectives. We here propose the use of the DEA methodology adapted to fuzzy logic to measure relative performances in the presence of uncertainty of a virtual sample of professional football teams along two dimensions: efficiency and effectiveness. The results obtained are especially interesting from the point of view of policy indications for the organization and management of the teams on the soccer pitch. The work then develops a second stage analysis structured in order to investigate on the one hand with the help of an econometric model the influence that a set of external factors can have on the performances and on the other, by calculating the gini coefficient, evaluates for various attitudes on the part of managers on uncertainty the degree of inequality in the distribution of sports performances of the groups that have participated in an ideal tournament. In conclusion, the work aims to develop, to our knowledge, an innovative and original way for the reference literature, a framework for analyzing sports data (and in particular for professional football clubs) in order to provide policy indications for improve their sports performances.
    Keywords: relative performance, sports data,fuzzy DEA
    JEL: C44 C55 D81 L25
    Date: 2020–09–27
  2. By: Niven Winchester (School of Economics, Auckland University of Technology); J. Dean Craig (Department of Economics, University of Colorado)
    Abstract: We use college football data and, in some cases, ESPN scout grades to estimate (1) attributes that are likely to result in a college quarterback being selected by a National Football League (NFL) team, and (2) the performance of rookie quarterbacks in the NFL. We find that both college passing and rushing ability are significantly correlated with NFL selection, with strong passing ability the most important trait for making the NFL. Among quarterbacks selected for the NFL, college rushing ability is significantly correlated with NFL performance, but college passing ability is not. College rushing ability is also a significant determinant of NFL performance when scout grades are included as an explanatory variable. We conclude that rushing prowess is the key determinant of the NFL success of quarterbacks with sufficient passing skills to warrant NFL selection. Our findings also indicate that scouts systematically undervalue rushing ability when assessing the NFL potential of college quarterbacks.
    Keywords: OR in sports, Selection, Multivariate regression analysis
    Date: 2020–08
  3. By: Kai Fischer; Justus Haucap
    Abstract: This paper examines the relation between crowd support and home advantage in professional football in making use of a unique “natural experiment” induced by restrictions due to the Corona pandemic: so-called ghost games in the top three German football divisions during the 2019/2020 season. We find that there is a reduced home advantage in the first division, whereas no change is observed in the second and third division. Our regression analysis indicates that the decrease in the home advantage and the heterogeneity across divisions are not sensitive to a variety of performance, location, and team covariates and best explained by the lower occupancy rate in the stadia. Hence, the decrease in occupancy to zero at the ghost games has been less dramatic for teams that have been used to low occupancy rates. The ghost game effect decreases over time, however, implying that players adapt and get used to the new situation. We cannot find strong evidence for a change in referee behavior or teams' tactics as main impact channels of occupancy rates on the home advantage. We rather assess psychological reasons to be of higher importance.
    Keywords: home advantage, Corona pandemic, professional soccer, stadium occupancy
    JEL: Z20 Z21
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Bent Flyvbjerg; Alexander Budzier; Daniel Lunn
    Abstract: The Olympic Games are the largest, highest-profile, and most expensive megaevent hosted by cities and nations. Average sports-related costs of hosting are $12.0 billion. Non-sports-related costs are typically several times that. Every Olympics since 1960 has run over budget, at an average of 172 percent in real terms, the highest overrun on record for any type of megaproject. The paper tests theoretical statistical distributions against empirical data for the costs of the Games, in order to explain the cost risks faced by host cities and nations. It is documented, for the first time, that cost and cost overrun for the Games follow a power-law distribution. Olympic costs are subject to infinite mean and variance, with dire consequences for predictability and planning. We name this phenomenon "regression to the tail": it is only a matter of time until a new extreme event occurs, with an overrun larger than the largest so far, and thus more disruptive and less plannable. The generative mechanism for the Olympic power law is identified as strong convexity prompted by six causal drivers: irreversibility, fixed deadlines, the Blank Check Syndrome, tight coupling, long planning horizons, and an Eternal Beginner Syndrome. The power law explains why the Games are so difficult to plan and manage successfully, and why cities and nations should think twice before bidding to host. Based on the power law, two heuristics are identified for better decision making on hosting. Finally, the paper develops measures for good practice in planning and managing the Games, including how to mitigate the extreme risks of the Olympic power law.
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Kai Fischer; Justus Haucap
    Abstract: Betting markets have been frequently used as a natural laboratory to test the efficient market hypothesis and to obtain insights especially for financial markets. We add to this literature in analyzing the velocity and accuracy in which market expectations adapt to an exogenous shock: the introduction of soccer ghost games during the Covid-19 pandemic. We find that betting odds do not properly reflect the effect of ghost games regarding changes in home advantage. Furthermore, we present evidence for a slow to non-existing adaption process with respect to new match results, indicating a lack of semi-strong efficiency. Based on these findings, we also identify very simple but highly profitable betting strategies which underline our rejection of the efficient market hypothesis.
    Keywords: home advantage, betting market, efficient market hypothesis, ghost games
    JEL: G14 Z20 Z21 Z23
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Piotr Lewandowski; Zuzanna Kowalik
    Abstract: We study the gender differences in aversion to COVID-19 exposure. We use a natural experiment of the 2020 US Open which was organised in the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths and was the first major professional tennis tournament after the season was paused for six months. We analyse the gender gap in the propensity to voluntarily withdraw because of COVID-19 concerns among players who were eligible and fit to play. We find that female players are significantly more likely to withdraw from the 2020 US Open. While players from countries characterised by higher trust, higher patience, and lower risk taking are more likely to withdraw, female players exhibit significantly higher aversion to pandemic exposure also if cross-country differences in preferences are accounted for. About 15-20% of the probability to withdraw explained by our model can be attributed to gender.
    Keywords: COVID-19, exposure to disease, gender, aversion, tennis
    JEL: I12 J16 J44
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend
    Abstract: This study examines gender differences in overconfidence and decision-making in a high-stakes environment. Using data on more than 40,000 individual attempts from international freediving competitions, we provide evidence that women, on average, are less likely than men to overestimate their ability. This result is robust to different measures of overconfidence and can be partly explained by experience. There are no substantial gender differences on the intensive margin of overconfidence. In terms of performance, results suggest that women suffer more from overconfidence than men.
    Keywords: overconfidence; gender; decision-making; competition; freediving
    JEL: D03 D81 J16 Z2
    Date: 2020–09

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