IJSF Issue 12:2

Contents for IJSF Issue 12:2

IJFS 12:2
Authors: Gentry Julian and Joshua A. Price, Oliver Budzinski and Tim Pawlowski, Leví Pérez, Víctor Puente and Plácido Rodríguez, Vincent Hogan and Patrick Massey, Marc Rohde and Christoph Breuer
Abstract:International Journal of Sport Finance, Volume 12, No. 2, May 2017.

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Keep to the Status Quo: Analyzing Behavioral Responses to the Change of Ball in the NBA

Authors: Gentry Julian and Joshua A. Price
Abstract:SThe National Basketball Association (NBA) changed the official game ball from leather to synthetic to start the 2006–07 season. The NBA argued that the synthetic ball was superior to the leather ball and would be beneficial to player performance. The Nation-al Basketball Association Players Association (NBAPA) argued that performance de-creased as a result of the ball change and filed an unfair practice labor grievance against the league. As a result, the league reverted back to using a leather ball in the middle of the season (after January 1). We test the claims of the NBA and the NBPA to see if the changing of the ball affected performance. Using multiple identification strategies, we find no evidence to suggest that player performance was significantly affected by the type of ball used. We rely on insights from behavioral economics to describe why the players were opposed to this policy change even when it had no measurable impact on performance.

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The Behavioral Economics of Competitive Balance: Theories, Findings, and Implications

Authors: Oliver Budzinski and Tim Pawlowski
Abstract:Despite the prominence and relevance of the uncertainty-of-outcome hypothesis (UOH) for professional sports worldwide, decades of empirical research have not been successful in establishing clear evidence for the importance of outcome uncertainty for stadium attendance and TV audience. In this regard, some recent papers were developed drawing upon a body of behavioral economic thoughts that might help to better understand the divergence between the UOH, competitive balance, and consumer choices. Since this literature has so far focused on different facets of behavioral economics, it is the objective of this paper to summarize and review the existing literature, discuss possible policy implications that can be derived from behavioral thinking in this context, and point out further research avenues.

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Factors Determining TV Soccer Viewing: Does Uncertainty of Outcome Really Matter?

Authors: Leví Pérez, Víctor Puente and Plácido Rodríguez
Abstract:The uncertainty of outcome hypothesis is revisited in this paper in the context of a more general demand analysis of free-to-air soccer games broadcast in Spain. Apart from analyzing some expected determinants of television viewers’ aggregate behavior, such as the quality of the game and the type of match broadcast, and other seasonal effects, an alternative approach based on bettor predictions of the possible outcome of a particular match is used to test this hypothesis. The empirical findings show that expected uncertainty of outcome may either have no effect on (soccer) TV audiences or lead television viewer behavior in different directions according to the type of match broadcast.

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Team Responses to Changed Incentives: Evidence from Rugby’s Six Nations Championship
Authors: Vincent Hogan and Patrick Massey
Abstract:This paper analyzes teams’ responses to rule changes designed to encourage more entertaining play in Rugby Union’s Six Nations Championship using a data set of all scores in the competition since its inception in 1883. We find that increasing the value of scoring a try leads to more tries per match, and that this effect increases over time. We also find evidence that teams may be prepared to concede penalties, which are worth fewer points in order to prevent more costly tries. The switch to a winner-take-all format in 1994 and the introduction of professionalism in 1995 also led to more tries being scored. Unlike most major rugby competitions, the Six Nations does not award bonus league points for scoring a certain number of tries, and our results suggest that introducing bonus points may merit further consideration. Our results may have practical applications, given ongoing concerns about a decline in try scoring in the Six Nations.

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Financial Incentives and Strategic Behavior in European Professional Football: A Match-day Analysis of Starting Squads in the German Bundesliga and UEFA Competitions
Authors: Marc Rohde and Christoph Breuer
Abstract:Europe’s professional football clubs engage in intraseasonal races to win the league, qualify for Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) competitions, and avoid relegation. In these competitions, playing talent is a scarce good as players invest effort in the form of fitness and the risk of injuries. Thus, managers face incentives to adjust effort levels by means of changing the value of starting squads. This paper analyzes whether managers save efforts in the absence of financial incentives or ahead of more important games. The theoretical model extends previous papers from the contest theory and shirking literature to a match-day panel regression analysis of strategic behavior. We build on two unbalanced panels covering 10 consecutive seasons in the German Bundesliga (n=6,120) and UEFA Champions League (n=1,920). The insights generated in this article are important for national league administrators as well as the UEFA in aligning their competitions towards each other and increasing incentives towards participating teams.

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