nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒02‒21
seven papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Which former professional football players become successful professional head coaches? By Balliauw, Matteo; Verheuge, Marco; Baert, Stijn
  2. Separable rules to share the revenues from broadcasting sports leagues By Gustavo Bergantiños; Juan D. Moreno-Ternero
  3. The effect of league design on spectator attendance: a regression disontinuity design approach By Reilly, Barry; Witt, Robert
  4. Presenteeism when employers are under pressure: Evidence from a high-stakes environment By Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend
  5. Can Africa Compete in World Soccer? By Matt Andrews
  6. Can barely winning lead to losing? Evidence for a substantial gender gap in psychological momentum By Mario Lackner; Michael Weichselbaumer
  7. How to reduce discrimination? Evidence from a field experiment in amateur soccer By Robert Dur; Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez; Cornel Nesseler

  1. By: Balliauw, Matteo; Verheuge, Marco; Baert, Stijn
    Abstract: One of the potential avenues for former professional football players to pursue their career is to become a head coach of a club's first team. An important question is how to best prepare for such a reconversion. This letter is the first in the academic literature quantifying the association between success as a professional head coach and prior experience of former professional players as a youth coach, player-coach, head coach at a lower division, assistant coach, in other staff positions and in club management positions. Our regression analyses, based on unique coach career data, show a significant positive association for the jobs of assistant or youth coach.
    Keywords: football,coaching,education,regression analysis,sports management
    JEL: L83 Z22
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Gustavo Bergantiños (ECOSOT, Universidade de Vigo); Juan D. Moreno-Ternero (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: We characterize a large family of rules for the problem of sharing the revenues from broadcasting sports leagues, by combining just two basic axioms: additivity and a weak form of equal treatment of equals. We also explore the implications of the principle of monotonicity for the resulting family of separable rules. Based on it, we derive new characterization results for focal members of the family.
    Keywords: Resource allocation; broadcasting problems; additivity; equal treatment of equals; monotonicity
    JEL: D63 C71 Z20
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Reilly, Barry; Witt, Robert
    Abstract: This paper exploits a sharp regression discontinuity design to identify the causal impact of the Scottish Premiership League (SPL) “split” on spectator match attendance. We use data drawn from all 19 completed seasons for which this institutional arrangement has been in place. The causal effect of the “split” is to induce, for the last five rounds of games played in the season, a differential in average attendance of about 24% between the clubs that just qualify for the “Championship Play-off” section and those that do not. However, the annualized effect for the season is found to be modest.
    Keywords: spectator attendance Scottish Premiership RDD
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2021–06–01
  4. By: Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend (Fernuni Hagen)
    Abstract: This study analyses whether the decision to work while sick can be linked to workload fluctuations. Drawing on data collected from professional soccer, we exploit the dynamics of a season and use additional (national and international) cup games conducted in the second half of a season as a source of exogenous variation. We find robust evidence that players are 6.1 percentage points more likely to return from injuries earlier than expected when their teams are exposed to a high workload. The effect is driven by players who are more important to their teams and those who are less vulnerable to injuries. Finally, we find that presenteeism comes at the cost of an early comeback significantly shortening the time until the next injury by approximately 27 days.
    Keywords: sickness absence; presenteeism; workload variations; soccer
    JEL: I19 J22 Z2
    Date: 2021–12
  5. By: Matt Andrews (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: In March 2021, the Confederation of African Football’s President, Patrice Motsepe, insisted that “An African team must win the World Cup in the near future.” This visionary statement is infused with hope—not just for an African World Cup victory but for a fuller future in which African men’s soccer competes with world soccer’s elite. This paper asks if there is any chance of this happening. It suggests a simple method to assess how a country competes as both a ‘participant’ and a ‘rival’ and uses this method to examine how Africa’s top countries compete in world soccer. This analysis points to a gap between such countries and the world’s best, which has grown in recent decades—even though some African countries do compete more over time. The paper concludes by suggesting that Africa’s hope of winning the World Cup is not impossible but demands more active work, focused particularly on ensuring top African countries compete with more high-quality competition more often. The conclusion also suggests that the research approach might be relevant beyond a study of African soccer. It could particularly help shed light on how well African countries compete (as participants and rivals) in the world economy.
    Keywords: football, soccer, Africa, World Cup, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Ivory Coast
    Date: 2022–01
  6. By: Mario Lackner; Michael Weichselbaumer
    Abstract: We use data from professional tennis to measure the causal effect of past on current performance for women and men. Identification relies on exogenous shocks to the probability of facing a contested game, which is a previous stage of competition with strong resistance. We find fundamental gender differences: whereas men’s performance is unaffected by previously facing and winning a contested game, women experience a sizeable deterioration of performance after barely winning the previous stage. This result is linked to gender differences in psychological momentum. Detailed analysis reveals heterogeneous effects by experience, ability and contest progression.
    Keywords: performance feedback, relative performance, process feedback, gender differences, psychological momentum.
    JEL: J16 M52
    Date: 2021–12
  7. By: Robert Dur (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez (University of Zurich); Cornel Nesseler (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: A rich literature shows that ethnic discrimination is an omnipresent and highly persistent phenomenon. Little is known, however, about how to reduce discrimination. This study reports the results of a large-scale field experiment we ran together with the Norwegian Football Federation. The federation sent an email to a random selection of about 500 amateur soccer coaches, pointing towards the important role that soccer can play in promoting inclusivity and reducing racism in society and calling on the coaches to be open to all interested applicants. Two weeks later, we sent fictitious applications to join an amateur club, using either a nativesounding or a foreign-sounding name, to the same coaches and to a random selection of about 500 coaches who form the control group. In line with earlier research, we find that applications from people with a native-sounding name receive significantly more positive responses than applications from people with a foreign-sounding name. Surprisingly and unintentionally, the email from the federation substantially increased rather than decreased this gap. Our study underlines the importance of running field experiments to check whether well-intended initiatives are effective in reducing discrimination.
    Keywords: ethnic discrimination; intervention; field experiment; correspondence test; amateur soccer.
    JEL: C93 J15 Z2
    Date: 2022–01–24

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