Sports Rules as Common Pool Resources: A Better Way to Respond to Doping

Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 39 No. 3, December 2009

4 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017

See all articles by Edward Castronova

Edward Castronova

Indiana University

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Berlin University of Technology; German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)

Date Written: September 2009

Abstract

In sports, as in all other fields of human life, there are written rules and then there are unwritten rules. An example of the former in soccer is the offside rule: a pass only is legal if at least two defenders are between a pass-receiver and the goal when the pass is made. An example of the latter is what might be called the “Injury Truce”: if team A has an injured player and kicks out of bounds in order to stop play for medical treatment, after the time out team B kicks out of bounds itself to return possession to team A. Players who violate either rule face negative consequences, the only difference being whether the consequence is enforced by the referee or not. For the offside rule, the referee grants a free kick for the other team. For the injury truce, violation leads to rough play on the field and stigma off the field within the crowd of spectators. Both consequences are negative and both cause the rule to be followed. Athletes are humans, and their personal incentives are not described entirely by the formal rules in a game. Informal rules matter. Sports rules are also a response to the common property resource (CPR) problem posed by any game: The game is more fun (and economically more valuable to players and spectators alike) if it is played according to certain rules.

Suggested Citation

Castronova, Edward and Wagner, Gert G., Sports Rules as Common Pool Resources: A Better Way to Respond to Doping (September 2009). Economic Analysis & Policy, Vol. 39 No. 3, December 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3068249

Edward Castronova (Contact Author)

Indiana University ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9290 (Phone)
+49 30 8 978 9200 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/programme/jsp/MA.jsp?language=en&uid=gwagner

Berlin University of Technology ( email )

Straße des 17
Berlin, 10623
Germany
+30 8 978 9283 (Phone)

German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) ( email )

DIW Berlin
10108 Berlin, Berlin
Germany
+49 30 8978 9290 (Phone)
+49 30 8978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw/en/soep

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
23
Abstract Views
319
PlumX Metrics