nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒05‒10
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Is the NFL's Pro Bowl broken? Considering the players' perspective By Kunz-Kaltenhäuser, Philipp
  2. Home advantage and crowd attendance: Evidence from rugby during the Covid 19 pandemic By Federico Fioravanti; Fernando Delbianco; Fernando Tohm\'e
  3. Gender and Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments By Booth, Alison L; Nolen, Patrick
  4. Forecasting National Medal Totals at the Summer Olympic Games Reconsidered By Nicolas Scelles; Wladimir Andreff; Liliane Bonnal; Madeleine Andreff; Pascal Favard

  1. By: Kunz-Kaltenhäuser, Philipp
    Abstract: This paper examines the growing trend of NFL players to forego participation in the league's yearly All-Star Game, the Pro Bowl. Viewership of the Pro Bowl has been substantially lower than the average game day in recent years, causing controversial discussions about the viability of the game and its future. Since the major determinant of viewership demand is the participation of (superstar) players, this paper analyzes the individual athletes' economic incentives in the decision to participate. To this end, it models the athlete's decision as a rational evaluation of cost-benefit under incentives of monetary reward and punishment. It uses unbalanced panel data on Pro Bowl players from the Super Bowl era (1971-2019), alongside viewership data and official league data. It applies a range of econometric methods (Pearson-correlations, graphical examination) to evaluate hypotheses about the players' decision-making process. It concludes that the incentives to participate in the Pro Bowl for the majority of players, esp. viewership-driving superstar players are weak. The monetary incentives in their current form are not an efficient way of positively manipulating the percentage of superstars in the game. If the goal is higher demand from players, the incentive structure must be changed. Such changes are inter alia, that the positive reputational effects of a Pro Bowl title should be tied to participation, not selection. To increase the monetary incentive, the direct payouts should be adjusted for their relative loss compared to the general income level in the league.
    Keywords: sports economics,pro bowl,national football league,league management
    JEL: Z2 Z22 Z28 D8
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Federico Fioravanti; Fernando Delbianco; Fernando Tohm\'e
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic forced almost all professional and amateur sports to be played without attending crowds. Thus, it induced a large-scale natural experiment on the impact of social pressure on decision making and behavior in sports fields. Using a data set of 1027 rugby union matches from 11 tournaments in 10 countries, we find that home teams have won less matches and their points difference decreased during the pandemics, shedding light on the impact of crowd attendance on the {\em home advantage} of sports teams.
    Date: 2021–05
  3. By: Booth, Alison L; Nolen, Patrick
    Abstract: Gender differences in paid performance under competition have been found in many laboratory-based experiments, and it has been suggested that these may arise because men and women respond differently to psychological pressure in competitive environments. To explore this further, we conducted a laboratory experiment comprising 444 subjects, and measured gender differences in performance in four distinct competitive situations. These were as follows: (i) the standard tournament game where the subject competes with three other individuals and the winner takes all; (ii) an anonymized competition in which an individual competes against an imposed production target and is paid only if s/he exceeds it; (iii) a 'personified' competition where an individual competes against a target based on the previous performance of one anonymised person of unknown gender; and (iv) a 'gendered' competition where an individual competes against a target based on the previous performance of one anonymised person whose gender is known. We found that only men respond to pressure differently in each situation; women responded the same to pressure no matter the situation. Moreover, the personified target caused men to increase performance more than under an anonymized target and, when the gender of the person associated with the target was revealed, men worked even harder to outperform a woman but strived only to equal the target set by a male.
    Keywords: psychological pressure, tournament, piece rate, gender, competitive behaviour; experiment; competitive behaviour; gender; piece rate; psychological pressure; randomized experiment; tournament
    JEL: C91 C92 J16 J33 M52
    Date: 2021–03
  4. By: Nicolas Scelles (MMU - Manchester Metropolitan University); Wladimir Andreff (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Liliane Bonnal (Université de Poitiers - Faculté de Sciences économiques - Université de Poitiers, CRIEF - Centre de Recherche sur l'Intégration Economique et Financière - Université de Poitiers); Madeleine Andreff (Université Gustave Eiffel); Pascal Favard (IRJI - Institut de recherche juridique interdisciplinaire François Rabelais - Université de Tours)
    Abstract: This article aims at explaining national medal totals at the 1992–2016 Summer Olympic Games (n = 1,289 observations) and forecasting them in 2016 (based on 1992–2012 data) and 2020 with a set of variables similar to previous studies, as well as a regional (subcontinents) variable not tested previously in the literature in English.
    Date: 2020–03

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