nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2021‒12‒06
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. A decade of violence and empty stadiums in Egypt: When does emotion from the terraces affect behaviour on the pitch? By Carl Singleton; J. James Reade; Dominik Schreyer
  2. Incentives and Strategic Behavior of Professional Boxers By AKIN, ZAFER; ISSABAYEV, MURAT; RIZVANOGHLU, ISLAM

  1. By: Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading); J. James Reade (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Dominik Schreyer (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Unternehmensführung (WHU))
    Abstract: In less than a decade, the Egyptian Premier League has experienced three distinct changes between periods of competition in either crowded or empty stadiums. We exploit this unique sequence of natural experiments, to answer two questions neglected by the still emerging literature on the effects of social pressure on behaviour and decision-making. First, does reinstating a supportive crowd after a long period of absence affect performances on the pitch? Second, is any reduced home advantage from competing in empty stadiums robust to repeating such an experiment? We find that eliminating social pressure from crowds decreased or even reversed home advantage after an incident of extreme crowd violence in 2012, but there were no significant effects when crowds were reinstated in 2018 and once more excluded in 2020. These results suggest that not all home crowds benefit the home team.
    Keywords: Attendance, COVID-19, Football, Home advantage, Natural Experiments, Referee Bias, Social Pressure
    JEL: C90 D91 L83 Z2
    Date: 2021–11–18
    Abstract: This paper studies the strategic behaviour of professional boxers in choosing the opponent and sharing the revenues generated by the fight. In professional boxing, a higher-ranked boxer has an upper hand in choosing his opponent among many challengers varying in popularity and strength. We build a three-stage model of a professional boxing fight/bout between the chooser and the one of his challengers to examine the strategic incentives of a chooser in sharing the purse in Nash Bargaining framework and exerting proper level of effort within a contest theory model. More importantly, we endogenize the choice of the opponent and thus the purse to be generated by the bout. We characterize the factors affecting the choice of an “optimal” opponent and the effort level exerted by the chooser and the opponent. One interesting result of the paper is that an older chooser who is ready to cash in his reputation tends to choose a stronger opponent, but puts little effort into the fight. On the other hand, a young rising “star” in the boxing market prefers a match against weaker opponents in order to minimize his risk of losing and to maximize his record of the “winning” outcomes along with market values.
    Keywords: Boxing, incentives, contests, opponent choice, bargaining, game theory
    JEL: C7
    Date: 2021–11–16

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