nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2023‒05‒15
four papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Measuring the strengths of the teams in the UEFA Champions League By L\'aszl\'o Csat\'o
  2. Effects of a uniform relative emission standard in a professional team sports league By Kato, Kazuhiko
  3. Age et performance des joueurs de football: cas de Ronaldo et de Messi à travers un modèle à seuil By Togbenu, Fo-Kossi Edem; Kadanga, Mayo Takémsi Norris
  4. Egyptian Ratscrew: Discovering Dominant Strategies with Computational Game Theory By Justin Diamond; Ben Garcia

  1. By: L\'aszl\'o Csat\'o
    Abstract: One of the most popular club football tournaments, the UEFA Champions League, will see a fundamental reform from the 2024/25 season: the traditional group stage will be replaced by one league where each of the 36 teams plays eight matches. Since the ranking is still based on the results of these matches, fairness requires guaranteeing that the opponents of the clubs are of the same strength. This paper investigates whether the currently used rating of the teams, the UEFA club coefficient, can be improved by taking the games played in the national leagues into account. According to our logistic regression models, a variant of the Elo method provides a higher accuracy in forecasting Champions League matches. Therefore, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is encouraged to follow the example of the FIFA World Ranking and reform the calculation of the coefficients in order to avoid unbalanced schedules in the novel tournament format of the Champions League.
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Kato, Kazuhiko
    Abstract: This study theoretically examines whether a uniform relative emission standard improves a professional sports team's competitive balance and social welfare in a professional league. Our study shows that there are cases where tightening (resp. relaxing) such standards can improve competitive balance when the differences between the abatement cost conditions of different clubs are sufficiently small (resp. large). Social welfare improves when the standard is slightly tougher than an unregulated emission level standard. Furthermore, social welfare also improves when the standard set to a zero-emission level is slightly relaxed.
    Keywords: Competitive balance; emission standard; professional team sports league; welfare analysis
    JEL: Q50 Z00
    Date: 2023–04–10
  3. By: Togbenu, Fo-Kossi Edem; Kadanga, Mayo Takémsi Norris
    Abstract: The objective of this research is to analyze the relationship between age and performance of soccer players. To do so, a threshold econometric model was applied to time series data of Ronaldo and Messi over the period 2003 to 2022. We found through our estimations that there would be a heterogeneous threshold age at which player performance decreases. This threshold is about 29 years for Ronaldo and 27 years for Messi. In the increasing phase, an increase in age leads to an increase in the performance of the player but in the other phase beyond the threshold, an increase in age leads to a reduction in performance
    Keywords: Performance; Age; Ronaldo; Messi; Threshold model
    JEL: Z00
    Date: 2023–04–13
  4. By: Justin Diamond; Ben Garcia
    Abstract: "Egyptian Ratscrew" (ERS) is a modern American card game enjoyed by millions of players worldwide. A game of ERS is won by collecting all of the cards in the deck. Typically this game is won by the player with the fastest reflexes, since the most common strategy for collecting cards is being the first to slap the pile in the center whenever legal combinations of cards are placed down. Most players assume that the dominant strategy is to develop a faster reaction time than your opponents, and no academic inquiry has been levied against this assumption. This thesis investigates the hypothesis that a "risk slapping" strategist who relies on practical economic decision making will win an overwhelming majority of games against players who rely on quick reflexes alone. It is theorized that this can be done by exploiting the "burn rule, " a penalty that is too low-cost to effectively dissuade players from slapping illegally when it benefits them. Using the Ruby programming language, we construct an Egyptian Ratscrew simulator from scratch. Our model allows us to simulate the behavior of 8 strategically unique players within easily adjustable parameters including simulation type, player count, and burn amount. We simulate 100k iterations of 67 different ERS games, totaling 6.7 million games of ERS, and use win percentage data in order to determine which strategies are dominant under each set of parameters. We then confirm our hypothesis that risk slapping is a dominant strategy, discover that there is no strictly dominant approach to risk slapping, and elucidate a deeper understanding of different ERS mechanics such as the burn rule. Finally, we assess the implications of our findings and suggest potential improvements to the rules of the game. We also touch on the real-world applications of our research and make recommendations for the future of Egyptian Ratscrew modeling.
    Date: 2023–03

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