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Testing Contest Theory: Evidence from Best-of-Three Tennis Matches

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Author Info

  • David A. Malueg

    (University of California, Riverside)

  • Andrew J. Yates

    (University of Richmond)

Abstract

We study strategic choice of effort in best-of-three contests between equally skilled players. Economic theory predicts such contests are more likely to end in two rounds than in three. If, however, a contest reaches a third round, each player is equally likely to win. We test these predictions with data from professional tennis matches, using betting odds to identify equally skilled opponents. The empirical results support the theoretical predictions, suggesting players strategically adjust efforts during a best-of-three contest. © 2010 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 689-692

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:92:y:2010:i:3:p:689-692

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Cited by:
  1. Mago, Shakun & Sheremeta, Roman & Yates, Andrew, 2012. "Best-of-Three Contest Experiments: Strategic versus Psychological Momentum," MPRA Paper 43031, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Qiang Fu & Changxia Ke & Fangfang Tan, 2013. ""Success breeds success" or "Pride goes before a fall"? Teams and Individuals in Best-of-Three Contests," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2013-06, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  3. Jennifer Brown & Dylan B. Minor, 2011. "Selecting the Best? Spillover and Shadows in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 17639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2013. "Leading-effect vs. Risk-taking in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Real-life Randomized Experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 15452, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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