nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒17
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Positional Segregation and Career Length in Major League Baseball in the 1990s By Johnny Ducking; Peter Groothuis
  2. Compliance Behavior under Surveillance: Introduction of the Video Assistant Referee to European Football By Ivan Trestcov

  1. By: Johnny Ducking; Peter Groothuis
    Abstract: The racial makeup of Major League Baseball (MLB) has changed over time with the percentage of Blacks in the league peaking at eighteen percent in the late 1980s and then declining to only seven percent today. While the percentage of Hispanics has grown steadily over time reaching fifteen percent in 1990 and continuing to grow to twenty-eight percent today. To provide insight into both the decline in Black players and rise in Hispanic players, we use panel data from 1990 to 2004 to explore both the racial and ethnic positional segregation and career length of players. When it comes to career length, we find that foreign born Hispanic players have a higher probability of exit while Hispanic players who were born in the United States or the territory of Puerto Rico have no difference in the probability of exit than nonHispanic White players. In addition, we find that non-Hispanic Black players have no difference in the likelihood of exit than non-Hispanic White players when there are no controls for the position played. However, we do find that Black non-Hispanic players have a lower probability of exiting the league when position controls are included. Focusing on position, we find that nonHispanic Black players are most likely to be in the outfield, least likely to be a catcher, and outfielders have shorter careers than catchers. Lastly, we find that Hispanic players are most likely to be a shortstop and least likely to be a catcher Key Words: Discrimination, Training, Sports, Major League Baseball (MLB)
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Ivan Trestcov
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of introducing the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to European football. First, the setting allows for decomposition of the deterrence and monitoring effects in Becker’s (1968) model of crime. Second, I estimate the deterrence effect’s spillover outside the surveillance environment. Third, I find evidence of a much under-studied learning-by-punishment effect. This paper applies the difference-in-difference strategy to show that the introduction of VAR causes a significant decrease in the number of fouls in two German football leagues. VAR had an immediate impact on severe fouls, while the effect on penalty fouls is apparent after a 12 week adjustment period. Punishment intensifies the deterrence effect as punished players commit even fewer fouls than unpunished players. Moreover, the deterrence effect persists outside of the surveillance environment, i.e., there is a spillover effect on international competitions. I show that players from countries with VAR commit fewer fouls in international competitions than other players.
    Keywords: Becker Model; Video Assistant Referee; Deterrence; European Football; Spillover; Learning-by-Punishment;
    Date: 2022–08

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