nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2023‒11‒06
five papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto, DePauw University

  1. Age, experience and team stability in the AFL : The recipe for success By Milne, Andrew
  2. The impact of high temperatures on performance in work-related activities By Matteo Picchio; Jan van Ours
  3. No Revenge for Nerds? Evaluating the Careers of Ivy League Athletes By Natee Amornsiripanitch; Paul Gompers; George Hu; Will Levinson; Vladimir Mukharlyamov
  4. Running Up that Hill: Fitness in the Face of Recession By Kerry L. Papps; Alex Bryson; James Reade
  5. How Does Artificial Intelligence Improve Human Decision-Making? Evidence from the AI-Powered Go Program By Sukwoong Choi; Hyo Kang; Namil Kim; Junsik Kim

  1. By: Milne, Andrew (Monash University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the importance of age, experience and team stability for on-field success for clubs in the Australian Football League (AFL). We use a fixed effects model to estimate our main results, with the key findings showing the importance of team composition and team stability. Team stability, representing social capital within the team, was shown to be a key factor in estimating home and away wins in the AFL over the years of 2010 to 2021. We find the importance of age as a limiting factor in a team’s capacity to generate home and away wins, whereby a minimum average age of a team is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for team success. Additionally, it was found the age bracket with the greatest impact on win percentage is players in their early twenties (21-25 years old). We find the most important component of a team’s composition is the level of match experience held by the team as a whole, with the proportion of players with greater than 100 matches experience contributing positively and significantly to team performance.
    Keywords: AFL ; Age ; Experience ; Team Stability ; Social Capital JEL classifications: Z20 ; Z21
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Matteo Picchio (Marche Polytechnic University); Jan van Ours (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: High temperatures can have a negative effect on work-related activities. Labor productivity may go down because mental health or physical health is worse when it is too warm. Workers may experience difficulties concentrating or they have to reduce effort in order to cope with heat. We investigate how temperature affects performance of male professional tennis players. We use data about outdoor singles matches from 2003 until 2021. Our identification strategy relies on the plausible exogeneity of short-term daily temperature variations in a given tournament from the average temperature over the same tournament. We find that performance significantly decreases with ambient temperature. The magnitude of the temperature effect is age-specific and skill specific. Older and less-skilled players suffer more from high temperatures than younger and more skilled players do. The effect of temperature on performance is smaller when there is more at stake. Our findings also suggest that there is adaptation to high temperatures: the effects are smaller if the heat lasts for several days.
    Keywords: Climate change, temperatures, tennis, performance, productivity
    JEL: J24 J81 Q51 Q54
    Date: 2023–10–12
  3. By: Natee Amornsiripanitch; Paul Gompers; George Hu; Will Levinson; Vladimir Mukharlyamov
    Abstract: This paper compares the careers of Ivy League athletes to those of their non-athlete classmates. Combining team-level information on all Ivy League athletes from 1970 to 2021 with resume data for all Ivy League graduates, we examine both post-graduate education and career choices as well as career outcomes. In terms of industry choice, athletes are far more likely to go into business and Finance related jobs than their non-athlete classmates. In terms of advanced degrees, Ivy League athletes are more likely to get an MBA and to receive it from an elite program, although they are less likely to pursue an M.D., a Ph.D., or an advanced STEM degree. In terms of career outcomes, we find that Ivy League athletes outperform their non-athlete counterparts in the labor market. Athletes attain higher terminal wages and earn cumulatively more than non-athletes over the course of their careers controlling for school, graduation year, major, and first job. In addition, they attain more senior positions in the organizations they join. We also find that athletes from more socioeconomically diverse sports teams and from teams that have lower academic admissions thresholds have higher career outcomes than non-athletes. Collectively, our results suggest that non-academic human capital developed through athletic participation is valued in the labor market and may support the role that prior athletic achievement plays in admissions at elite colleges.
    JEL: J0 J01 J08 J24 J30 J32 J38
    Date: 2023–10
  4. By: Kerry L. Papps (University of Bradford and IZA); Alex Bryson (University College London and IZA); James Reade (University of Reading)
    Abstract: Drawing on 28 million observations on people’s running times in a free weekly 5 kilometre running event, Parkrun, we examine whether labour market conditions affect fitness. Running times improve during recessions for men and women aged 50 and above but worsen for men aged 20-49 and women aged 20-29, suggesting that the fall in the opportunity costs of fitness during recessions is the dominant factor for elderly runners, whereas the income effect induced by unemployment dominates for prime age workers. Participation in Parkrun is not sensitive to the business cycle so our results are not driven by compositional changes.
    Keywords: health; business cycle; Parkrun
    JEL: I12 I30
    Date: 2023–09–01
  5. By: Sukwoong Choi; Hyo Kang; Namil Kim; Junsik Kim
    Abstract: We study how humans learn from AI, exploiting an introduction of an AI-powered Go program (APG) that unexpectedly outperformed the best professional player. We compare the move quality of professional players to that of APG's superior solutions around its public release. Our analysis of 749, 190 moves demonstrates significant improvements in players' move quality, accompanied by decreased number and magnitude of errors. The effect is pronounced in the early stages of the game where uncertainty is highest. In addition, younger players and those in AI-exposed countries experience greater improvement, suggesting potential inequality in learning from AI. Further, while players of all levels learn, less skilled players derive higher marginal benefits. These findings have implications for managers seeking to adopt and utilize AI effectively within their organizations.
    Date: 2023–10

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