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Peer Effects in Team Sports: Empirical Evidence From NCAA Relay Teams

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  • Craig A. Depken, II

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Belk College of Business, UNC-Charlotte, NC, USA)

  • Lisa E. Haglund

    (Department of Economics, University of Texas-Arlington, USA)

Abstract

This article investigates whether peer effects manifest in the performance of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 4 × 400 m men's relay teams. We test whether increasing the average quality of team members has a nonlinear and ultimately deleterious impact on team performance, measured by, relay time. Using both absolute and relative performance measures we find that increasing average team member quality improves team performance but at a decreasing rate. The authors attribute these diminishing returns to negative peer effects after finding that relay teams comprised of higher quality runners are more likely to underperform relative to their predicted quality.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by in its journal Journal of Sports Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 3-19

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:12:y:2011:i:1:p:3-19

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Keywords: teamwork; shirking; track and field; sports;

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  1. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
  2. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  3. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  4. Barron, John M & Gjerde, Kathy Paulson, 1997. "Peer Pressure in an Agency Relationship," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 234-54, April.
  5. DepkenII, Craig A., 2000. "Wage disparity and team productivity: evidence from major league baseball," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 87-92, April.
  6. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  7. Fiona Carmichael & Dennis Thomas & Robert Ward, 2000. "Team performance: the case of English Premiership football," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 31-45.
  8. Ramaswamy, Ramana & Rowthorn, Robert E, 1991. "Efficiency Wages and Wage Dispersion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 501-14, November.
  9. Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2004. "Clean Evidence on Peer Effects," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000439, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  11. Allen R. Sanderson & John J. Siegfried, 2003. "Thinking About Competitive Balance," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0318, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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