nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒06‒21
five papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Forced to Play Too Many Matches? A DeepLearning Assessment of Crowded Schedule By Stefano Cabras; Marco Delogu; J.D. Tena
  2. Judging Under Public Pressure By Alma Cohen; Zvika Neeman; Florian Auferoth
  3. Gender and psychological pressure in competitive environments By Alison L. Booth; Patrick Nolen
  4. Recreational angling demand in a mixed resource fishery By Grilli, Gianluca; Mukhopadhyay, Soumyadeep; Curtis, John; Hynes, Stephen
  5. Recreational salmon angling logbook returns By Grilli, Gianluca; Curtis, John; Hynes, Stephen

  1. By: Stefano Cabras; Marco Delogu; J.D. Tena
    Abstract: Do important upcoming or recent scheduled tasks affect the current productivity of working teams? How is the impact (if any) modified according to team size or by external conditions faced by workers? We study this issue using association football data where team performance is clearly defined and publicly-observed before and after completing different activities (football matches). UEFA Champions League (CL) games affect European domestic league matches in a quasi-random fashion. We estimate this effect using a deep learning model, a novel strategy in this context, that allows controlling for many interacting confounding factors without imposing an ad-hoc parametric specification. This approach is instrumental in estimating performance under ‘what if’ situations required in a causal analysis. We find that dispersion of attention and effort to different tournaments significantly worsens domestic performance before/after playing the CL match. However, the size of the impact is higher in the latter case. Our results also suggest that this distortion is higher for small teams and that, compared to home teams, away teams react more conservatively by increasing their probability of drawing. We discuss the implications of these results in the multitasking literature.
    Keywords: multitasking, causal analysis, deep learning, sports economics
  2. By: Alma Cohen; Zvika Neeman; Florian Auferoth
    Abstract: Individuals who engage in “judging” – that is, rendering a determination in a dispute or contest between two parties – might be influenced by public pressure to favor one of the parties. Many rules and arrangements seek to insulate such individuals from public pressure or to address the effects of such pressure. We study this subject empirically, investigating the circumstances in which public pressure is more and less likely to affect judging. Using detailed data from the Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, our analysis of how crowd pressure affects the decisions of referees yields two key insights. First, we show that crowd pressure biases referee’s decisions in favor of the home team for those decisions that cannot be unam-biguously identified as erroneous but not for those decisions that can. In particular, a referee exhibits a bias in favor of the home team with respect to more subjective decisions such as the showing of yellow cards (cautions), which is based on the referee’s judgment, but not with respect to more objective de-cisions such as validating goals and awarding penalty kicks, where live TV coverage often allows for objective identification of errors. Second, we show that the effect of crowd pressure on referee decisions depends on the extent to which such pressure is viewed by the referee as understandable or reasonable (or even justified). Specifically, a referee’s bias in favor of the home team in yellow card issuance is strengthened after the referee makes an objectively identifiable error against the home team and thus might view crowd heckling as understandable. This effect is stronger when the referee’s error is costlier to the home team because the game is more important or the error is more consequential due to the closeness of the game at the time of the error. The introduction of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) technology in 2017 and the restrictions im-posed due to Covid-19 pandemic, which caused games to be played without crowds for the second half of the 2019–20 season, allow us to test our results under three different regimes (pre-VAR, VAR, and VAR/no-crowd). Inspection of the results under these three different regimes serves to reinforce them. As expected, VAR reduces the number of referee errors, but the pattern of no bias with respect to errors is preserved. VAR has no effect on the number of yellow cards, or on the number of goals. Once the crowd disappears, so does the home advantage in goals. Referee errors are unaffected, but the home bias with respect to yellow cards disappears as well. This confirms the effect that the crowd has on referees’ more subjective decisions.
    JEL: K40 Z20
    Date: 2021–06
  3. By: Alison L. Booth; Patrick Nolen
    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
    JEL: C91 C92 J16 J33 M52
    Date: 2021–04
  4. By: Grilli, Gianluca; Mukhopadhyay, Soumyadeep; Curtis, John; Hynes, Stephen
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Grilli, Gianluca; Curtis, John; Hynes, Stephen
    Date: 2021

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