nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒02‒28
six papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Professional Sporting Events Increase Seasonal Influenza Mortality in US Cities By Alexander Cardazzi; Brad Humphreys; Jane E. Ruseski; Brian P. Soebbing; Nicholas Watanabe
  2. Legalized Sports Betting, VLT Gambling, and State Gambling Revenues: Evidence From West Virginia By Brad R. Humphreys
  3. Localization Economies and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Football Teams in Sao Paulo, Brazil By Brad R. Humphreys; Amir B. Ferreira Neto
  4. Which Former Professional Football Players Become Successful Professional Head Coaches? By Balliauw, Matteo; Verheuge, Marco; Baert, Stijn
  5. Blaming The Ref: Understanding the Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Family Violence By Alexander J. Cardazzi; Brad R. Humphreys; Bryan McCannon; Zachary Rodriguez
  6. Peer Competition: Evidence from 5- to 95-Year-olds By Jose De Sousa; Benoit Schmutz

  1. By: Alexander Cardazzi (West Virginia University); Brad Humphreys (West Virginia University); Jane E. Ruseski (West Virginia University); Brian P. Soebbing (University of Alberta); Nicholas Watanabe (University of South Carolina)
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic shut down sporting events worldwide. Local policy makers and league officials face important decisions about restarting play, especially in professional leagues that draw large numbers of spectators to games. We analyze the impact of professional sporting events on local seasonal influenza mortality to develop evidence that will help inform sports league reopening policy decisions. Results from a difference-in-differences model applied to data from a sample of US cities that gained new professional sports teams over the period 1962-2016 show that the presence of games in these cities increased local influenza mortality by between 4% and 24%, depending on sport, relative to cities with no professional sports teams and relative to mortality in those cities before a new team arrived. Influenza mortality fell in cities with teams in some years when work stoppages occurred in sports leagues. Sports league reopening policies should take into account the role played by sporting events in increasing local seasonal flu mortality.
    Keywords: influenza mortality; sporting events; health policy
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Brad R. Humphreys (West Virginia University)
    Abstract: A Supreme Court decision legalizing sports betting in the US led states to legalize sports betting in order to generate new tax revenues from wagering on sports events. Most states already permit other forms of gambling and receive tax revenues from these sources. The literature analyzing consumer substitution in gambling spending contains some evidence on the impact of expansions in many types of gambling, but no evidence on the impact of expanded sports betting. This paper exploits the legalization of sports betting and timing of sports book openings in West Virginia to analyze the impact of expanded sports betting on other casino gambling. Evidence using Instrumental Variables and difference-in-differences shows that increased consumer spending on sports betting caused a significant decline in spending on video lottery terminals (VLTs) in casinos, both of which generate tax revenues. Fiscal impacts include $2.6 million in new tax revenue from sports betting and a $45.4 million decrease in VLT tax revenues caused by expanded sports betting.
    Keywords: gambling revenues, sports betting, displacement effect
    JEL: D12 D22 H25 H71 L38
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Brad R. Humphreys (West Virginia University); Amir B. Ferreira Neto (Florida Gulf Coast University)
    Abstract: Agglomeration economies affect urban economic outcomes. We analyze variation in sports team productivity and localization of teams across divisions and cities in Campeonato Paulista an annual football competition in São Paulo state, Brazil, exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in localization generated by a promotion and relegation system in this league. Results show that both urbanization, proxied by population, and localization affects short and long run team productivity. These results provide new evidence on the importance of localization economies in the urban economy in developing countries and shed light on why sports teams in larger cities enjoy more success than those in smaller cities.
    Keywords: Agglomeration, urbanization, localization, sports league outcomes, Elo rankings
    JEL: R12 Z21
    Date: 2020–07
  4. By: Balliauw, Matteo (University of Antwerp); Verheuge, Marco (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    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: 2022–01
  5. By: Alexander J. Cardazzi (West Virginia University); Brad R. Humphreys (West Virginia University); Bryan McCannon (West Virginia University); Zachary Rodriguez (West Virginia University)
    Abstract: Domestic violence generates long-term effects on offenders, victims, and other household members. Insight into triggers of family violence can inform policy and improve services aimed at reducing abusive behavior. We investigate potential domestic violence triggers by analyzing unexpected losses in National Basketball Association games. The literature identifies increasing in-home violence after unexpected losses in the National Football League. Combining information on referee accuracy and fatigue, we develop a unique identification strategy to explore the impact of human error on family violence following unexpected losses. Results indicate that as referees are more accurate (more rested) in unexpected losses, family violence decreases, suggesting that the ability to place blame for a loss on referees increases the likelihood of violent outbursts. Further investigation shows that these results concentrate in games where referees are less rested and betting markets were less certain of the game outcome.
    Keywords: Domestic violence, job performance, emotional cues
    JEL: J44 K42 Z22
    Date: 2020–08–24
  6. By: Jose De Sousa (U. Paris-Saclay, RITM and Sciences Po, Liepp); Benoit Schmutz (Ecole Polytechnique and CREST)
    Abstract: Good peers may help you learn, but they may also steal your spotlight. We use the panel of chess players in the French club championship to document this trade-off. With an instrumental variable strategy based on club closures, we show that better clubmates help players improve, but only when they do not monopolize the (good) opportunities to play. For players at the bottom of the club distribution, positive externalities are offset by competition. Junior players, who enjoy a steep learning curve, suffer more from peer competition in the short-run, but they may also reap higher benefits in the long-run.
    Keywords: Peer effects, Competition, Participation
    JEL: J24 R23
    Date: 2022–02–16

This nep-spo issue is ©2022 by Humberto Barreto. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.