Using Sports in Economics and Management Research

ECASE Workshop
Bokeh effect on the grass in a soccer stadium
Friday 8 Mar 2024, 11:30 - 22:00

Excelsior Stadium Woudestein

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Participation fee of 50 euros

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Bokeh effect on the grass in a soccer stadium

ECASE is proud to announce its 7th Workshop on 'Using Sports in Economics and Management Research'. The programme includes six interesting presentations by a mix of leading and up-and-coming international speakers. Please join us on 8 March at the Excelsior Stadium.


Battista Severgnini (Copenhagen Business School) 
Scoring from difficult angles 
(joint with Marta Boczoń)

The allocation of talent is a crucial factor in determining the efficiency, inequalities, growth trajectories of economies. While theoretical models consistently suggest that one of the main drivers of self-selection in different job market positions is due to opportunity costs, testing this hypothesis extensively using data proves to be extremely challenging. 

This paper empirically tests whether the initial conditions at birth can explain self-selection into high-risk (and thus remunerative) tasks. We collected a rich dataset on football players in the English Premier League and linked this information with a set of macro and micro measures of geographical economic performance. 

Our econometric analysis suggests a negative and significant relationship between the economic condition of the place of birth of players and their future economic performance. Furthermore, these results remain consistent once changes of opportunity costs are driven by a quasi-experiment based on a sudden and significant changes of regional funding from the European Union are taken into account.

Raphael Flepp (University of Zurich) 
Outcome Bias under Pressure: Evidence from Coach Dismissals

Outcome bias refers to the tendency to overweight the observed outcome in evaluations, consequently underestimating the influence of luck. However, observed outcomes frequently trigger performance pressure when they fall short of expectations, potentially reinforcing outcome bias. 

Using data from European football, we investigate whether managerial dismissal decisions are influenced by luck, operationalized as opponent player injuries, and whether this influence is more pronounced under performance pressure. 

Our findings reveal that luck significantly impacts dismissal decisions, particularly when performance pressure mounts. Importantly, this amplified outcome bias under performance pressure is predominantly driven by instances of bad luck, indicating an asymmetric effect of performance pressure in the wake of unlucky outcomes. These results suggest that the extent of outcome bias has been underappreciated, especially in situations involving bad luck

Tim Pawlowski (University of Tuebingen)
Celebration Beats Frustration: Emotional Cues and Alcohol Use During Soccer Matches 
(joint with Lukas Fischer, Michael Nagel, Augustin Kelava) 

Emotions significantly influence human behaviour during decision-making. While lab evidence is abundant, field studies are limited, often with rough measures or temporal gaps between triggers and behaviour. Using high-frequency beer sales, in-play match data, and betting odds in a soccer stadium, we study the immediate impact of emotional cues on alcohol consumption. 

We integrate the emotional constructs Surprise and Suspense, considering positive and negative states. Surprise consistently increases beer sales, suggesting alcohol consumption in emotionally charged situations. Suspense mainly reduces beer sales. The positive emotional state dominates over the negative one regarding effect sizes, offering evidence that 'celebration beats frustration'.

Joyce Schleu (Radboud University Nijmegen)
From star player to star coach? The longitudinal validity of performance-based promotion in the NBA

Most organizations make promotion decisions based on employees’ prior performance. Despite the prevalence of this performance-based promotion strategy, its validity remains unclear. We extend past research by testing competing hypotheses on the relationship between employee performance and future leader performance as derived from three theoretical perspectives (i.e., performance requirements perspective, follower-centric perspective, and Theory of Expert Leadership). 

We examined our hypotheses in the context of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and gathered data on the entire career of all NBA coaches until 2020 (N = 329), including their prior performance as basketball players. We tested our hypotheses using Bayesian structural equation modeling with latent variables. 

Overall, our analyses indicated a notable, yet weak, relationship between employee (i.e., player) and leader (i.e., coach) performance that remained stable over time. Overall, our results are in line with the performance requirements perspective. Hence, we recommend to reconsider the use of performance-based promotion strategy.

Harry Garretsen (University of Groningen)
Who rules in times of the Video Assistant Referee? Decision making in Dutch football 
(joint with Harry Garretsen, Janka Stoker, Bertus Talsma) 

Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on decision making among professionals. We studied the role of personal characteristics of referees and video assistant referees (VARs) in football. We look at age, experience and ranking for explaining the number of VAR moments per match and the confirmation of the initial referee decision. Our main finding is that VAR characteristics matter. Younger, less experienced and lower ranked VARs significantly recommend more reviews and they subsequently see the initial decision significantly more often confirmed. Although the introduction of the VAR intended to be an objective add-on for refereeing, our results show that VAR characteristics matter for the decision making process.

Dinner at the stadium


Excelsior Stadium Woudestein
Address: Honingerdijk 110, 3062 NX Rotterdam

Registration and participation fee

Participation in the conference is open to all interested parties, including academics, students, journalists, and industry stakeholders. ECASE charges a participation fee of 50 euros. This includes access to the lunch, dinner, and coffee breaks.

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See also

15th European Conference on Sport Economics

The 15th European Conference on Sport Economics will take place at Erasmus University Rotterdam between 21 and 23 August 2024.
Woudestein Campus by Night
More information

The ECASE team 
Jan van Ours, Thomas Peeters, Enrico Pennings, Michel van de Velden, Sophia Gaenssle

Related links
Erasmus Centre for Applied Sports Economics (ECASE)

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