nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒10‒04
three papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Multiple Equilibria and Unsustainable Runs in Major League Baseball: More Evidence By Rockerbie, Duane; Easton, Stephen
  2. Assessing the Role of Fatigue and Task Switching on Worker Performance. Evidence from MLB Pitchers By Alex Farnell; Dave Berri; Brian Mills; Vincent O’Sullivan; Robert Simmons
  3. Does Certainty on the Winner Diminish the Interest in Sport Competitions? The Case of Formula One By Pedro Garcia-del-Bario; J. James Reade

  1. By: Rockerbie, Duane; Easton, Stephen
    Abstract: Teams that operate in professional sports leagues often display a cyclical pattern in team winning percentages that are driven by the payroll choices of owners that are inconsistent with a single, stable equilibrium. Two explanations emerge: a stable equilibrium that is shifting over time due to shifts of the revenue or payroll function; or moving between two stable equilibriums. We employ the Bounds test for cointegration between relative team revenues and payrolls to detect multiple equilibria in a sample of Major League Baseball teams over the 1990-2018 seasons. The results suggest the possibility of multiple equilibria for five teams even after accounting for moves to new stadiums that shift the team revenue function.
    Keywords: revenue, payroll, equilibrium, revenue sharing, baseball
    JEL: L19 Z0
    Date: 2021–09–15
  2. By: Alex Farnell (Department of Economics, Maynooth University.); Dave Berri (Southern Utah University); Brian Mills (University of Texas); Vincent O’Sullivan (Lancaster University); Robert Simmons (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: Opportunities to study how workers respond to the demands of task switching outside of a laboratory setting are rare. In this paper, we use three seasons of (pre Covid) Major League Baseball (MLB) data to see how pitchers are affected by the additional demands of having to bat and run bases. MLB is an ideal setting because of its two-league structure in which the American League has a Designated Hitter rule, allowing teams to nominate a player to bat in place of the pitcher. The National League does not (or did not, pre Covid). We assess changes to a host of performance metrics, and results suggest that task switching in the form of batting is associated with gains across most of our performance measures, but that pitchers should avoid getting on base at all costs. This finding is robust to within game and across league selection of pitchers, and to a placebo test. Classification-J24, M54, Z21, Z22
    Keywords: Labour Productivity, Task Switching, Baseball
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Pedro Garcia-del-Bario (Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain); J. James Reade (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: The literature acknowledges \Uncertainty of Outcome" (UO) as a major factor to explain the degree of interest that sporting competitions draw from fans and the general public. Uncertainty about the championship winner is crucial insofar as nancial success depends on the capacity to attract potential consumers of spectacle. This paper focusses on one aspect of UO and examines to what extent reductions in the interest of followers is due to the removal of uncertainty about the world drivers' champion in Formula One. To study how certainty on the winner undermines the degree of attention generated by the Formula One world drivers' championship, we rely on two alternative indexes | similar although not identical | reported by Google Trends. Both of these appraisals are computed from data on users' search intensity in Google, where weekly records are normalized on the relative amount of searches per calendar year. Thus, as dependent variables for the empirical analysis we use two measures: Google Trends News (GTN), to capture the intensity with which individuals search news articles associated; and Google Trends Web (GTW), to get a wider overview based on all kind of Internet contents. The former empirical analysis is carried out on 10 years of available data; while the latter approach estimates the models for a larger period of 14 years. Our empirical strategy includes additionally adopting indicator saturation techniques to address this issue while controlling for outliers.
    Keywords: Global Sports, Outcome Certainty, Google Trends, Competitions' Multiple Prizes; Event Analysis
    JEL: J24 J33 J71
    Date: 2021–09–27

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