nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2023‒01‒09
five papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. The politics of football in Kinshasa: power, profit and protest By Titeca, Kristof; Malukisa Nkuku, Albert
  2. Do fantasy sports players' actions influence their performance in Dream11 contests? Adding data to the debate on skill vs chance By Agam Gupta; Yash Khandelwal; Manish K. Singh; Ashutosh Singla
  3. Are Some Athletes More Cognitive Skilled than Others when Choosing their Opponents in Skiing-Sprint Elimination Tournaments? By Karlsson, Niklas; Lunander, Anders
  4. Arbiter Assignment By Mustafa Oguz Afacan; Nejat Anbarci; Ozgur Kıbrıs
  5. Does Public Investment Contribute to Increasing Institutional and Interpersonal Trust?: Place-Based Policies for Sports and Cultural Activities in Cali, Colombia By Martínez, Lina María; Sayago, Juan Tomás

  1. By: Titeca, Kristof; Malukisa Nkuku, Albert
    Abstract: This paper discuss the politics of football in Kinshasa, with a particular focus on the ways this manifested itself during the regime of Joseph Kabila. The literature on the politics of football shows how the sports can play both a hegemonic and counter-hegemonic role: whereas the former primarily happens by financing football clubs, and reputation building for individual politicians; the latter happens through collective action by soccer fans, which – for example through riots – are able to contest political regimes. Similar dynamics play out in Kinshasa. On the one hand, soccer clubs constate an important way to build political capital for the regime(s) in power: many regime politicians involve themselves with soccer clubs, in a way which allows them to improve – or launder – their reputation. This primarily happens through financial support, and was particularly important for the Kabila regime, which was largely unpopular in the capital. On the other hand, football also is a space for political opposition in Kinshasa. For example, in a situation of escalating repression under the Kabila regime, football stadiums offered the possibility to voice opposition to the regime, through the singing of anti-Kabila songs. That being said, this political agency remained confined within a structural context of a much more powerful authoritarian state.
    Keywords: Kinshasa, football
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Agam Gupta (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi); Yash Khandelwal (Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee); Manish K. Singh (Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee and xKDR Forum); Ashutosh Singla (Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee)
    Abstract: Daily fantasy sports platforms allow users to compete with one another by creating their own teams within some constraints, using their knowledge or intuition about the performance of players in real life. Since players¡¯ actual performance on the match day is uncertain, emerging as a winner in such contests combines skill and chance. Using data from Dream11, a fantasy sports platform in India, through participation in public contests on the platform during the ICC T20 cricket World Cup, we test whether skill or chance plays the dominant role for winners. When we proxy lack of skill by randomly selecting teams via computer simulation and comparing the performance of real teams with simulated teams, our findings suggest that chance and skill are evenly balanced. In our sample of 31 games, in almost 50% games, we see that teams picked randomly perform at par or better than the real teams constructed by real users. Furthermore, we observe that while real teams perform better in games where the skill gap between two teams is much higher, randomly simulated teams fare better in closely matched teams. However, when we do within players comparison across matches, we found that participants playing with multiple teams and participants playing more games outperform the rest.
    JEL: Z2 Z21 Z28
    Date: 2022–11
  3. By: Karlsson, Niklas (Örebro University School of Business); Lunander, Anders (Örebro University School of Business)
    Abstract: In this study we analyze data from world cup cross-country skiing sprint elimination tournaments for men and women in 2015-2020. In these tournaments prequalified athletes sequentially choose in which of five quarterfinal heats they want to compete. Due to a time constraint on the day the tournament is held, the recovery time between the elimination heats varies. This implies a clear advantage for the athlete to race in an early rather than in a late quarterfinal to increase the chances of being successful in a possible final. Given that athletes seek to maximize their expected achieved world cup points when choosing quarterfinal, a simple model predicts that higher ranked athletes prefer to compete in early quarterfinals, despite facing expected harder competition. The result is consistent with our empirical analysis of the data. We also develop two estimation methods to investigate whether some athletes are found to be more tactical skilled in their decision making. Our estimates indicate that twelve out of 115 athletes have made choices having an expected positive effect on their performance in terms of achieved world cup points. For 22 athletes the effect is expected to be negative. The estimated individual effects ranges from -3 points to +4 points.
    Keywords: elimination tournament; game theory; choosing opponents; skiing sprint; tactical skills
    JEL: C51 C72 D91 Z20
    Date: 2022–11–10
  4. By: Mustafa Oguz Afacan (Sabancı University); Nejat Anbarci (Durham University); Ozgur Kıbrıs (Sabancı University)
    Abstract: In dispute resolution, arbitrator assignments are decentralized and also incorporate parties’ preferences, in total contrast to referee assignments in sports. We suggest that there can be gains (i) in dispute resolution from centralizing the allocation by bundling the newly arriving cases, and (ii) in sports from incorporating teams’ preferences. To that end, we introduce a class of Arbiter Assignment Problems where a set of matches (e.g., disputes or games), each made up of two agents, are to be assigned arbiters (e.g., arbitrators or referees). On this domain, the question of how agents in a match should compromise becomes critical. To evaluate the value of an arbiter for a match, we introduce the (Rawlsian) notion of depth, defined as the arbiter’s worst position in the two agents’ rankings. Depth optimal assignments minimize depth over matches, and they are Pareto optimal. We first introduce and analyze depth optimal (and fair) mechanisms. We then propose and study strategy-proof mechanisms.
    Keywords: Arbiter, arbitration, dispute resolution, assignment, mechanism, depth optimality, fairness, unanimity compromise, strategy-proofness, referee, sports, football.
    JEL: C78 J44
    Date: 2022–12
  5. By: Martínez, Lina María; Sayago, Juan Tomás
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of two place-based policies implemented in Cali, Colombia on social capital and trust. We use the CaliBRANDO survey to account for institutional and interpersonal trust, matching neighborhood of residence and where policies are applied. We set up a difference-in-difference model to estimate the impact of the policies on the indexes that measure trust. We nd that the organized sport policy improves institutional trust by about 4%. Our results are significant for soccer and basketball and not significant for futsal and other activities. The evidence does not support an effect of nightlights on trust.
    Keywords: Trust;Place-based policies;Social capital
    JEL: H41 O20 C21 L38 R10
    Date: 2022–01

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