nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒12‒19
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Does the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology mitigate referee bias in professional football leagues? By Kim, Chang Hyun; Lee, Kyung Yul; Kwon, Young Sun
  2. It’s a Sure Win! Experimental evidence on overconfidence in betting behavior By Martin Chegere; Paolo Falco; Marco Nieddiu; Lorenzo Pandolfi; Mattea Stein
  3. How sport changed my life? Description of the perceived effects of the experiences of young Colombians throughout a sport for development and peace program By Gadais, Tegwen; Varela, Natalia; Vinazco, Sandra; Soto, Victoria; Garzon, Mauricio
  4. Competitive balance and demand for football: A review of the literature By van der Burg, Tsjalle

  1. By: Kim, Chang Hyun; Lee, Kyung Yul; Kwon, Young Sun
    Abstract: Evidence for home advantage is clear in sports including professional football. Among the factors that lead to home advantage is referee bias where referees make biased decisions in favor of the home sides. In order to minimize any bias or unrighteousness caused by referee bias, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was introduced to the world of professional football and is now widely adopted in domestic leagues across the world. However, it was not until 2018 when professional football leagues started to implement the VAR with the Australian A-League being one of the first football leagues to adopt the technology. This study compares the effects of the VAR technology on home advantage using difference-in-difference model and synthetic control method with eight professional football leagues constructing the treatment group and other 45 leagues constructing the control group. With home advantage measured with the number of goal counts, it is found that the adoption of the VAR technology significantly increases the average number of away team goals while the average number of home team goals remains unchanged. These findings may help better understand the effects of the VAR on home advantage, and the fact that econometrics models were applied to understand it effects carries importance as well.
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Martin Chegere (University of Dar es Salaam); Paolo Falco (University of Copenhagen); Marco Nieddiu (University of Cagliari); Lorenzo Pandolfi (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Mattea Stein (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF)
    Abstract: We conduct an experiment with regular sports bettors in Tanzania to investigate how they value their bets and form expectations about winning probabilities. By comparing a sports bet to a neutral urn-and-balls lottery with identical odds, we find that subjects under the sports framing assign higher subjective values (certainty equivalents) to their bets and are significantly more optimistic about their chances of winning, even though, in fact, they are not more likely to win. This is consistent with bettors being overconfident in their ability to predict sports outcomes. Coupled with data on betting frequency and motives, our results suggest that, by leveraging gamblers’ overconfidence, sports betting magnifies their financial losses.
    Keywords: betting, overconfidence, expectations, framing, sports.
    JEL: C91 D84 D91 L83
  3. By: Gadais, Tegwen; Varela, Natalia; Vinazco, Sandra; Soto, Victoria; Garzon, Mauricio
    Abstract: This study contributes to the advancement of the field of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) research in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). There are still few studies on SDP programs in this region and it is important to document and understand the impacts of these programs on participants. The present study is the result of a collaborative research that aims to describe the experiences and perceptions of Colombian youth and program managers who participated in an SDP program that took them from a local community sports club to the Olympic Games. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with key actors (administrators, coaches, and athletes) who participated in a triple and transversal (local, district and national) Olympic walking training program. The results provided a better understanding of the program dynamics in the local, regional, and national level, as well as of the short- and long-term effects perceived by the actors of the process on their development, education, health, and career. Recommendations are made for SDP organizations in LAC. Future studies should continue to investigate the SDP initiative in LAC to understand how sport can help development and peace building in this region.
    Date: 2022–06–23
  4. By: van der Burg, Tsjalle
    Abstract: In European men's club football, competitive balance is decreasing, and therefore uncertainty of outcome too. The empirical studies do not give a clear unanimous answer to the question whether this decrease leads to lower utility for the fans, and so to lower welfare, hence this critical review of the literature. Three types of uncertainty of outcome have been distinguished in the literature: short-term, seasonal, and long-term, with possible different dimensions within one type. The paper argues that it is justified to interpret the literature in the following way: a decrease in one or two types of uncertainty of outcome, or a certain more specific dimension, can lead to serious reductions in welfare, while the conclusion may be different for other types or dimensions. Several studies suggest that a decrease in competitive balance has no effect on welfare, or just a small effect, as long as the competitive balance remains above some minimum level (or range) whereas once the competitive balance is below the minimum level, any further decrease in it results in serious reductions in welfare. Taking these and other points into account, the conclusion of the review is that it is highly plausible that the present level of competitive balance is below the welfare-maximising level in most competitions at least, and any further decrease in competitive balance will seriously reduce welfare.
    Date: 2022

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