nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒22
seven papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Awards are career catalysts for young talents in highly competitive job markets By Florian Bünning; Ben Chan; Sascha L. Schmidt; Dominik Schreyer; Benno Torgle
  2. Beauty and Preferences Formation Exemplified in the Sports Market By Hannah Josepha Rachel Altman; Morris Altman; Benno Torgler and Stephen Whyte
  3. Price discrimination in informal labor markets in Bogotá: An audit experiment during the 2018 FIFA World Cup By Zamora, P; Mantilla, C; Blanco, M
  4. Head Impact Exposures Among Youth Tackle and Flag American Football Athletes By Dana Waltzman; Kelly Sarmiento; Owen Devine; Xinjian Zhang; Lara DePadilla; Marcie-jo Kresnow; Kelley Borradaile; Andrew Hurwitz; David Jones; Ravi Goyal; Matthew J. Breiding
  5. When the Mob Goes Silent: Uncovering the Effects of Racial Harassment through a Natural Experiment By Mauro Caselli; Paolo Falco
  6. Fairness and Willingness to Compete By Buser, Thomas; Cappelen, Alexander; Tungodden, Bertil
  7. Non-compete agreements, wages and efficiency: theory and evidence from Brazilian football By Bernardo Guimaraes; Joao Paulo Pessoa; Vladimir Ponczek

  1. By: Florian Bünning; Ben Chan; Sascha L. Schmidt; Dominik Schreyer; Benno Torgle
    Abstract: Despite the potential importance of awards as a possible career catalyst, the theoretical and empirical research on awards is still in its infancy. Here, we address this notable shortcoming in the economic literature by exploring data from German youth football. Analyzing whether an early career award, the so-called Fritz Walter Medal, significantly affects the awardee’s career trajectory in a highly competitive environment, where performance differences are often hardly perceivable, we find that receiving an early career award seems, per se, to be a robust positive signal for a player’s future career success. Intriguingly, though, both the award characteristics, that is, whether it is bestowed in gold, silver, or bronze, and also the exact age at which the awardee receives the bestowal only add limited explanatory power.
    Keywords: Awards; career effects; football/soccer; incentives; personnel economics
    JEL: A13 M52 J30 Z20
    Date: 2021–03
  2. By: Hannah Josepha Rachel Altman; Morris Altman; Benno Torgler and Stephen Whyte
    Abstract: Beauty has been used as a fast and frugal heuristic, and therefore an important determinant of choice, as highlighted in research by Hamermesh. In a world of asymmetric information, beauty represents a proxy for objective characteristics or an object of desire, according to an individual’s preferences. A correlate of beauty, sexiness, has been used in sports to choose trainers or even to select the athletes expected to perform best, with people paying a premium for this beauty or sexiness. We argue that beauty can be a good or bad heuristic depending on the objective relationship between beauty and what it proxies. When it is a bad heuristic, it generates sub‐optimal outcomes for sports organizations. We discuss the conditions under which the beauty or sexiness heuristic generates sub‐optimal outcomes, why rational agents choose such a heuristic, and the conditions under which bad heuristics are sustainable. We also discuss this heuristic and the beauty premium in the context of Becker’s economic theory of discrimination, wherein rational decision‐makers trade‐off material considerations for the utility gained by contracting beautiful and sexy individuals. The latter has implications for the economic sustainability of an organization.
    Keywords: -
    Date: 2021–03
  3. By: Zamora, P; Mantilla, C; Blanco, M
    Abstract: We conducted an audit experiment to examine whether street vendors in Bogotá (Colombia) exert price discrimination based on buyers’ attributes, such as gender and nationality; and based on product characteristics, such as the increasing marginal valuation of items needed to complete a collection. We exploited the seasonal demand for album stickers related to the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. In our within-subjects design, experimenters carried out inperson audits and quoted a pre-determined list of missing stickers. They interacted with 59 sticker vendors located in five geographic clusters. We find that prices quoted to foreign buyers are higher than prices quoted to Colombian buyers. By contrast, we do not find evidence supporting direct gender-based discrimination, neither that vendors charge a higher price per sticker when the list of missing stickers is shorter. We complement the study with a qualitative analysis based on interviews that reveal vendors’ pricing strategies, their awareness of price discrimination, and the trade of counterfeits.
    Keywords: Colombia; dual labor markets; football; Latin America; sports; street vendors
    JEL: C93 J46
    Date: 2020–02–04
  4. By: Dana Waltzman; Kelly Sarmiento; Owen Devine; Xinjian Zhang; Lara DePadilla; Marcie-jo Kresnow; Kelley Borradaile; Andrew Hurwitz; David Jones; Ravi Goyal; Matthew J. Breiding
    Abstract: Promoted as a safer alternative to tackle football, there has been an increase in flag football participation in recent years.
    Keywords: head impact, flag, tackle, football, concussion
  5. By: Mauro Caselli; Paolo Falco
    Abstract: How does harassment impact the performance of discriminated minorities? Using a natural experiment induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we test how the sudden absence of supporters at football games impacts the performance of players from minority groups in Italy. We find that players from Africa, who are most commonly targeted by racial harassment, experience a significant improvement in performance when supporters are no longer at the stadium. Using data on o
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Buser, Thomas (University of Amsterdam); Cappelen, Alexander (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Tungodden, Bertil (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: The large experimental literature on competitiveness has typically ignored a key feature of many competitive settings in society: competition is not always fair. The playing field may be uneven and competitors of unequal strength. In our experiment, we systematically vary the fairness of the competition setting. We find that concerns for the chance of winning trump concerns for fairness for most, but not all, people. A majority of participants who compete under fair circumstances are willing to impose competition on opponents who have been exogenously handicapped or are known to be weaker. A majority are also willing to sabotage the performance of their opponent to increase their own chances of winning. However, a large minority do not exploit the costless opportunity to sabotage the performance of their opponent, suggesting at least some concerns for fairness. Our results are relevant for management practices, in particular for the decision to introduce competitive mechanisms in businesses and organizations. By studying gender differences under a range of novel competitive settings, we also shed new light on the much-discussed gender difference in willingness to compete.
    Keywords: Competitiveness; Fairness
    JEL: D90
    Date: 2021–03–12
  7. By: Bernardo Guimaraes; Joao Paulo Pessoa; Vladimir Ponczek
    Abstract: We propose a model to study non-compete agreements and evaluate their quantitative effects. We explore an exogenous policy change that removed non-compete clauses in the market for Brazilian footballers, the Pele Act of 1998. The Act raised players' lifetime income but changed the wage profile in a heterogeneous way, reducing young players' salaries. We structurally estimate the model's parameters by matching wages and turnover profiles in the post Act period. By changing a single parameter related to the non-compete friction, we can match the changes in the age-earnings profile. We then show that the bulk of income gains is due to distributional forces, with efficiency gains playing a minor role.
    Keywords: labor mobility, labor frictions, wage profile, labor turnover
    JEL: J30 J41 J60 K31 Z22
    Date: 2021–03

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