nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
five papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Overshadowed by popularity: The value of second-tier stars in European football By Fabienne Jedelhauser; Raphael Flepp; Egon Franck
  2. From Micro to Macro Gender Differences: Evidence from Field Tournaments By José de Sousa; Guillaume Hollard
  3. Nothing Propinks Like Propinquity: Using Machine Learning to Estimate the Effects of Spatial Proximity in the Major League Baseball Draft By Majid Ahmadi; Nathan Durst; Jeff Lachman; John A. List; Mason List; Noah List; Atom T. Vayalinkal
  4. Centralization in National High-Performance Sports Systems: Reasons, Processes, Dimensions, Characteristics, and Open Questions By Wolfgang Maennig
  5. Social Distancing and Risk Taking: Evidence from a Team Game Show By Jean-Marc Bourgeon; José de Sousa; Alexis Noir-Luhalwe

  1. By: Fabienne Jedelhauser (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Raphael Flepp (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Egon Franck (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Superstars in European football are exceptionally talented and enjoy celebrity status. While second-tier stars, i.e., players barely below superstar status, lack popularity, their marginal contribution to team performance on the pitch relative to that of superstars is unknown. Relying on league-specific preseason market value distributions to define superstars and second-tier stars, we compare the marginal contributions of superstars and second-tier stars to team performance on the pitch in the top five European football leagues. Examining the impact of unexpected injury-related absences, we find that second-tier stars’ marginal contribution is at least equal to that of superstars. Thus, European football players with the highest market values do not outperform second-tier stars in terms of their marginal contributions to team performance on the pitch. These findings have important implications for football managers, as the players with arguably the highest costs for clubs do not contribute accordingly to short-run sportive success.
    Keywords: Superstars; second-tier stars; marginal contribution; team performance; football
    JEL: Z20 J44
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: José de Sousa (Université Paris-Saclay, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Guillaume Hollard (IP Paris - Institut Polytechnique de Paris)
    Abstract: Women are under-represented in top positions, such as Business, Politics and Science. The same under-representation occurs in chess, providing us with a unique opportunity to analyze this phenomenon. We find a macro gender gap in every country: there are fewer female than male players, especially at the top, and women have lower average rankings. One contribution of this paper is to link the macro gender gap to micro gender differences. Comparing millions of individual games, we find that women's scores are about 2% lower than expected when playing a man rather than a woman with identical rating, age and country. Using a simple theoretical model, we explain how a small micro gap may affect women's long-run capital formation. A small difference in outcomes generates a small difference in effort, and thus a lower future ranking. By reducing effort and increasing the probability of quitting, both effects accumulate to discourage women from competing for top positions.
    Keywords: macro gender gap, micro gender differences, under-representation
    Date: 2021–09–01
  3. By: Majid Ahmadi; Nathan Durst; Jeff Lachman; John A. List; Mason List; Noah List; Atom T. Vayalinkal
    Abstract: Recent models and empirical work on network formation emphasize the importance of propinquity in producing strong interpersonal connections. Yet, one might wonder how deep such insights run, as thus far empirical results rely on survey and lab-based evidence. In this study, we examine propinquity in a high-stakes setting of talent allocation: the Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft from 2000-2019 (30, 000 players were drafted from a player pool of more than a million potential draftees). Our findings can be summarized in four parts. First, propinquity is alive and well in our setting, and spans even the latter years of our sample, when higher-level statistical exercises have become the norm rather than the exception. Second, the measured effect size is consequential, as MLB clubs pay a significant opportunity cost in terms of inferior talent acquired due to propinquity bias: for example, their draft picks are 38% less likely to ever play a MLB game relative to players drafted without propinquity bias. Third, those players who benefit from propinquity bias fare better both in terms of the timing of their draft picks and their initial financial contract, conditional on draft order. Finally, the effect is found to be the most pronounced in later rounds of the draft, where the Scouting Director has the greatest latitude.
    JEL: C93 D4 J30 J7
    Date: 2022–12
  4. By: Wolfgang Maennig (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg)
    Date: 2023–01–05
  5. By: Jean-Marc Bourgeon (UMR PSAE - Paris-Saclay Applied Economics - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, X-DEP-ECO - Département d'Économie de l'École Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique); José de Sousa (Université Paris-Saclay, RITM - Réseaux Innovation Territoires et Mondialisation - Université Paris-Saclay, LIEPP - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Alexis Noir-Luhalwe (Université Paris-Saclay, RITM - Réseaux Innovation Territoires et Mondialisation - Université Paris-Saclay)
    Abstract: We examine the risky choices of pairs of contestants in a popular radio game show in France. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the show, held in person, had to switch to an all-remote format. We find that such an exogenous change in social context affected risk-taking behavior. Remotely, pairs take far fewer risks when the stakes are high than in the flesh. This behavioral difference is consistent with prosocial behavior theories, which argue that the nature of social interactions influences risky choices. Our results suggest that working from home may reduce participation in profitable but risky team projects.
    Abstract: Nous examinons les choix risqués de paires de participants à un jeu radiophonique populaire en France. Au début de la pandémie de COVID-19, l'émission, qui se déroulait en personne, a dû passer à un format entièrement à distance. Nous constatons qu'un tel changement exogène du contexte social a affecté le comportement de prise de risque. À distance, les paires prennent beaucoup moins de risques lorsque les enjeux sont élevés qu'en chair et en os. Cette différence comportementale est cohérente avec les théories du comportement prosocial, qui soutiennent que la nature des interactions sociales influence les choix risqués. Nos résultats suggèrent que le travail à domicile peut réduire la participation à des projets d'équipe rentables mais risqués.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Social Distancing, Social Pressure, Decision Making, Risk, Distance sociale, Pression sociale
    Date: 2022–10–26

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