Sabotage in Tournaments with Heterogeneous Contestants: Empirical Evidence from the Soccer Pitch

20 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2013

See all articles by Christian Deutscher

Christian Deutscher

Bielefeld University

Bernd Frick

University of Paderborn - Faculty of Business Administration, Economics and Business Computing

Oliver Gürtler

University of Cologne

Joachim Prinz

University of Duisburg-Essen

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

In this paper, we address the problem of sabotage in tournaments with heterogeneous contestants. In a first step, we develop a formal model, which yields the prediction that favorites exert higher productive effort, while underdogs are more tempted to engage in destructive actions (sabotage). This is because favorites have a higher return on productive effort and both types of effort are substitutes. In a second step, we use data from German professional soccer to test this prediction. In line with the model, we find that favorite teams win more tackles in a fair way, while underdog teams commit more fouls.

Keywords: Heterogeneity, sabotage, soccer, tournament

JEL Classification: D74, J33, M52

Suggested Citation

Deutscher, Christian and Frick, Bernd and Gürtler, Oliver and Prinz, Joachim, Sabotage in Tournaments with Heterogeneous Contestants: Empirical Evidence from the Soccer Pitch (October 2013). The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 115, Issue 4, pp. 1138-1157, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2332964 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sjoe.12036

Christian Deutscher (Contact Author)

Bielefeld University ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

Bernd Frick

University of Paderborn - Faculty of Business Administration, Economics and Business Computing ( email )

Warburger Str. 100
D-33098 Paderborn
Germany

Oliver Gürtler

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Joachim Prinz

University of Duisburg-Essen ( email )

Lotharstrasse 1
Duisburg, 47048
Germany

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