nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒08‒29
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Making a Maradona: Meat Consumption and Soccer Prowess By Martín A. Rossi; Christian A. Ruzzier
  2. Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM): Incentives for Productivity By Anujit Chakraborty; Guidon Fenig

  1. By: Martín A. Rossi (Universidad de San Andrés); Christian A. Ruzzier (Universidad de San Andrés)
    Abstract: We provide novel evidence that poor individuals born in countries with high consumption of meat are more likely to show soccer prowess. Our findings are robust to controlling for population, per capita income, and interest in soccer. We posit that the combination of relatively cheap meat and low opportunity costs of engaging in a career in professional soccer can explain this association between meat consumption, low socioeconomic status, and soccer prowess. Access to cheap meat implies a higher quality diet, which allows for the development of the cognitive functions required to excel in soccer. Poverty implies a low opportunity cost of putting those improved cognitive functions to use in soccer.
    Keywords: Sports; Meat consumption; Soccer; Nutrition; Poverty; Cognitive functions.
    JEL: Z20 Z22 J22 J24
    Date: 2022–07
  2. By: Anujit Chakraborty; Guidon Fenig (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)
    Abstract: What kind of incentives optimize a worker's motivation and performance, especially in remote work settings? We recruit online workers to work for up to 45 minutes on tedious tasks over three days. We randomly assign them to individualistic (Solo) or one of two team incentives. Under our Cooperative team incentive, workers equally share the team's earnings. Under our Competitive team incentive, the best performer gets an additional bonus proportional to the team's total productivity. We find that workers under the Cooperative team incentives are most likely to participate on all three days, exhaust all 45 minutes of work, and complete more tasks. Workers under Competitive team incentives also outperform the Solo workers, but the effect is insignificant. When workers can additionally observe their team member's effort from previous days (observability condition), they increase their own effort in response to their partner's high effort. This escalation effect is strongest under Competitive incentives, and under the observability condition, both team incentives outperform the individualistic incentive.
    JEL: C9 C72 C92 D9
    Date: 2022–08–15

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