nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒05‒31
five papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. How Sensitive are Sports Fans to Unemployment? By J. James Reade; Jan C. van Ours
  2. Betting on a buzz, mispricing and inefficiency in online sportsbooks By Philip Ramirez; J. James Reade; Carl Singleton
  3. The Long-Run Effects of Sports Club Vouchers for Primary School Children By Jan Marcus; Thomas Siedler; Nicolas R. Ziebarth
  4. Race and Coaching Hierarchy By Dave Berri; Alex Farnell; Vincent O'Sullivan; Robert Simmons
  5. Employees’ Performance Variation over Fixed-Term Contracts - Evidence from the National Hockey League By Furmaco, L.; Longley, N.; Palermo, A.; Rossi, G.

  1. By: J. James Reade (University of Reading); Jan C. van Ours (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: We analyze attendance of professional football matches in England finding that it is related to unemployment over a very long period of time. More unemployment leads to lower attendances. Distinguishing between leagues, we find that the relationship is larger for lower leagues, i.e. attendance of lower quality football events are more sensitive to fluctuations in unemployment.
    Keywords: Stadium attendance, football, unemployment
    JEL: C23 Z21 D12
    Date: 2021–05–24
  2. By: Philip Ramirez (Department of Economics, University of Reading); J. James Reade (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: Bookmakers sell claims to bettors that depend on the outcomes of professional sports events. Like other financial assets, the wisdom of crowds could help sellers to price these claims more efficiently. We use the Wikipedia profile page views of professional tennis players involved in over ten thousand singles matches to construct a buzz factor. This measures the difference between players in their pre-match views relative to the usual numbers they received over the previous year. The buzz factor significantly predicts mispricing by bookmakers. Using this fact to forecast match outcomes, we demonstrate that a strategy of betting on players who received more pre-match buzz than their opponents can generate substantial profits. These results imply that sportsbooks could price outcomes more efficiently by listening to the buzz.
    Keywords: Wisdom of crowds, Betting markets, Efficient Market Hypothesis, Forecast efficiency,Professional tennis
    JEL: G14 G41 L83
    Date: 2021–05–23
  3. By: Jan Marcus; Thomas Siedler; Nicolas R. Ziebarth
    Abstract: Starting in 2009, the German state of Saxony distributed sports club membership vouchers among all 33,000 third graders in the state. The policy’s objective was to encourage them to develop a long-term habit of exercising. In 2018, we carried out a large register-based survey among several cohorts in Saxony and two neighboring states. Our difference-indifferences estimations show that, even after a decade, awareness of the voucher program was significantly higher in the treatment group. We also find that youth received and redeemed the vouchers. However, we do not find significant short- or long-term effects on sports club membership, physical activity, overweightness, or motor skills.
    JEL: H71 I12 I14 I18 I28 I38 Z28
    Date: 2021–05
  4. By: Dave Berri; Alex Farnell; Vincent O'Sullivan; Robert Simmons
    Abstract: Despite its best efforts, the National Football League (NFL) has long been criticised for its lack of minority leadership amongst its teams. Recent hires (and non-hires) have only served to heighten this criticism. To assess this, we use a new, rich and unique dataset to examine the relationship between race and coaching hierarchy in the NFL. Our results indicate that young, experienced and well performing coordinators are likely to be promoted to Head Coach while older and poorly performing coaches are more likely to be fired. A coach’s race does not seem to play a role in either promotions or firings. In the post Rooney Rule era (post 2003) however, black coordinators are marginally more likely to be promoted than previously. Black Head Coaches on the other hand, are neither more nor less likely to find a job at the same level. The Rooney Rule has been successful to the extent that teams now consider (and ultimately appoint) equally skilled black coordinators to Head Coaching jobs, despite our evidence suggesting that equally skilled black coordinators had always been available.
    Keywords: Racial Discrimination, NFL, Coaches
    JEL: J71 Z21 Z22
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Furmaco, L. (Department of Economics and the Murphy Institute, Tulane University, IZA, GLO); Longley, N. (Department of Business, Nevada State College); Palermo, A. (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union); Rossi, G. (University of Birkbeck, London)
    Abstract: We investigate whether employees vary their performance during fixed-term contracts. We follow National Hockey League players’ performance over ten seasons. We use a two-stage least square fixed effect model to address empirical limitations in previous studies. We find that players’ performance varies at the end of the contract depending on ability, tenure, and (geographical) willingness to move. In particular, long-tenure and low-ability short-tenure workers vary their performance, depending on their continent of origin; these results might be due to different willingness to move, at different stages of players’ career.
    Keywords: fixed-term contracts, incentives, shirking behavior, strategic behavior
    JEL: D82 J24 J33 M52 Z22
    Date: 2021–05

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