nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒05‒24
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. BBE: Simulating the Microstructural Dynamics of an In-Play Betting Exchange via Agent-Based Modelling By Dave Cliff
  2. Performing best when it matters the most: Evidence from professional handball By Christoph Buehren; Marvin Gabriel

  1. By: Dave Cliff
    Abstract: I describe the rationale for, and design of, an agent-based simulation model of a contemporary online sports-betting exchange: such exchanges, closely related to the exchange mechanisms at the heart of major financial markets, have revolutionized the gambling industry in the past 20 years, but gathering sufficiently large quantities of rich and temporally high-resolution data from real exchanges - i.e., the sort of data that is needed in large quantities for Deep Learning - is often very expensive, and sometimes simply impossible; this creates a need for a plausibly realistic synthetic data generator, which is what this simulation now provides. The simulator, named the "Bristol Betting Exchange" (BBE), is intended as a common platform, a data-source and experimental test-bed, for researchers studying the application of AI and machine learning (ML) techniques to issues arising in betting exchanges; and, as far as I have been able to determine, BBE is the first of its kind: a free open-source agent-based simulation model consisting not only of a sports-betting exchange, but also a minimal simulation model of racetrack sporting events (e.g., horse-races or car-races) about which bets may be made, and a population of simulated bettors who each form their own private evaluation of odds and place bets on the exchange before and - crucially - during the race itself (i.e., so-called "in-play" betting) and whose betting opinions change second-by-second as each race event unfolds. BBE is offered as a proof-of-concept system that enables the generation of large high-resolution data-sets for automated discovery or improvement of profitable strategies for betting on sporting events via the application of AI/ML and advanced data analytics techniques. This paper offers an extensive survey of relevant literature and explains the motivation and design of BBE, and presents brief illustrative results.
    Date: 2021–05
  2. By: Christoph Buehren (Clausthal University of Technology); Marvin Gabriel (University of Kassel)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of psychological pressure on individual performance with handball penalties thrown in the decisive stage vs. the rest of the game. Contrary to the phenomenon of choking under pressure, we observe that most of the analyzed players perform best when it matters the most. The positive effect of pressure on performance is especially pronounced when the score is level or when the thrower’s team is lagging. We control for gender and psychological traits assessed with a survey. Female players score with a higher probability than male players in our sample. The positive impact of pressure is not significantly higher for female players.
    Keywords: Performance under pressure; sports data; psychological traits; survey
    JEL: D
    Date: 2021

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