ECASE Workshop
Using Sports in Economics and Management Research

Using Sports in Economics and Management Research

Start date

Friday, 7 Feb 2020, 12:00

End date

Friday, 7 Feb 2020, 22:00

Excelsior Stadium Woudestein I Honingerdijk 110, 3062 NX Rotterdam

Academic programme

12:00 – 13:30: Lunch
12:00 – 13:30: Lunch
13:30 – 14:15: Jeff Borland (University of Melbourne) - “Who wins penalty shootouts: Does crowd identity matter?”
14:30 – 15:30: Sandra Schneemann (University of Bielefeld) - “Strategic Investment Decisions in Multistage Contests with Heterogeneous Players”
15:30 – 16:15: Ian Gregory-Smith (University of Sheffield) - “Race and careers in the NFL”
16:30 – 17:15: Robert Simmons (Lancaster University) - “Reviewing the Video Assistant Referee”
17:30 – 18:15: Samuel Hoey (Erasmus School of Economics) -  “Practice makes perfect? Co-working experience and peer effects”

18:30 – 22:00: Workshop Dinner

There will be a 15 minutes coffee break between each speaker.

Registration at the workshop

  • Participation in workshop is free
  • Participation in dinner is free
  • Mandatory registration by e-mail to

The organizers of this workshop are Jan van Ours, Thomas Peeters, Francesco Principe and Sam Hoey.

    • Jeff Borland

      Jeff Borland (University of Melbourne)

      This paper analyses outcomes from 176 football penalty shootouts from June 2003 to July 2018 across nine major international and club competitions (FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, CONMEBOL Copa América, AFCON, CONCACAF Gold Cup, AFC Asian Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and the Club World Cup).  The analysis revisits existing explanations for who wins penalty shootouts, and investigates a further potential determinant - the team identify of fans behind the goal where the penalty shootout occurs.

    • Sandra Schneemann (University of Bielefeld)

      We study strategic investment decisions in multi-stage contests with heterogeneous players. We hypothesize that players conserve resources in a current stage in order to spend more in the subsequent stages if the degree of heterogeneity in the current (subsequent) stage is sufficiently large (small).

      We confirm these predictions by using data from German professional soccer, where players are subject to a one-match ban if they accumulate five yellow cards. We find that players with four yellow cards facing the risk of being suspended for the next match are (i) less likely to be fielded in match t when the heterogeneity in match t increases and (ii) more likely to receive a fifth yellow card in match t when the heterogeneity in the next match (t+1) increases or when the heterogeneity in match t+2 (for which they return from their ban) decreases.

      Co-authors: Christian Deutscher, Hendrik Sonnabend and Marco Sahm

    • Ian Gregory Smith

      Ian Gregory-Smith (University of Sheffield)


    • Robert Simmons

      Robert Simmons (Lancaster University)

      Opportunities to study impacts of monitoring technology in the workplace, as opposed to experimental laboratory, are extremely rare. Researchers tend to rely on self-reported survey data sets such as European Working Conditions Survey or Workplace Employment Relations Survey. These surveys only capture self-reported responses by employers and/or employees. Direct field evidence on monitoring, shirking and responses to peer pressures are limited. The famous study by Mas and Moretti (2009) on peer effects on supermarket checkout operators is a notable exception.

      The sports industry offers excellent opportunities to study impacts of changes in monitoring technology on worker performances due to precise and rich data on worker performances. This paper analyses the impacts on workers (referees and players) from the introduction of Video Assistant Referees (henceforth VAR) as an innovation in monitoring technology designed to improve referee decision-making in football competitions. We find evidence that introduction of VAR has been largely successful in its objectives of using technology to aid worker (referee) decision-making. The percentage of incorrect decisions in games fell and we have evidence that attacking play was encouraged, as measured by shots on and off target. There are fewer offsides and fewer fouls called under VAR, which suggests a combination of improved player discipline and better referee performance.

      We have evidence of a reduction in away team yellow cards in the first season of VAR, which can be construed as reduced referee bias. But shirking and referee bias remain as the time taken up by VAR interventions is not fully compensated for by referees in time added on at the end of games. Moreover, the lack of compensation in added time favours home teams that have narrow leads. The lesson is that a change in monitoring technology can improve worker productivity but does not necessarily eliminate agent shirking.

      Co-authors: Giuseppe Migali and J. James Reade

    • Sam Hoey

      Samuel Hoey (Erasmus School of Economics)

      This paper investigates the relationship between team performance and joint experience in the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHL data contains high-frequency performance data, as well as detailed information on joint experience between the players. Due to possible reverse causality when estimating the relationship between team performance and joint experience, we exploit player injuries as an exogenous shock to the joint experience a player has with his teammates using a difference-in-difference framework with continuous treatment.

      Players that had a lot of interaction with the injured player before the injury are likely to have a larger shock to their peer set. Preliminary findings suggest that injuries have a negative effect on the performance of the players that remain.  Furthermore, we investigate heterogeneity of the effect based on the joint experience with the injured player. 

      Co-authors: Thomas Peeters and Jan van Ours

More information

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