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Sabotage in Tournaments: Making the Beautiful Game a Bit Less Beautiful

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  • Garicano, Luis
  • Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio

Abstract

We exploit an incentive change in professional soccer leagues aimed at encouraging more attacking and goal scoring to obtain evidence on the effect of stronger incentives on productive and destructive effort. Using as control the behavior of the same teams in a competition that experienced no changes in incentives, we provide differences-in-differences estimates of the effect of the incentive change on the behavior of teams. We find that, although teams increased offensive effort, they also increased destructive effort (`sabotage') substantially, resulting in no net change in scoring. When ahead, teams became more conservative, increasing their defenders, scoring less goals, and allowing fewer attempts to score by their opponents. We also find that teams that engage more in sabotage activities depress the attendance at their rival's home stadiums, and that indeed attendance suffered as a result of the incentive change. Thus, teams responded to stronger incentives, but in an undesirable way.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5231.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5231

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Keywords: incentives; multitasking; sabotage; tournaments;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2009. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bernd Süssmuth & Stefan Wagner, 2012. "A Market’s Reward Scheme, Media Attention, and the Transitory Success of Managerial Change," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 232(3), pages 258-278, May.
  3. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2008. "How many winners are good to have?: On tournaments with sabotage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 682-702, March.
  4. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Oliver Gurtler, 2013. "Sabotage in Contests: A Survey," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 051, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  5. Babatunde Buraimo & David Forrest & Robert Simmons, 2007. "The Twelfth Man? Refereeing Bias in English and German Soccer," Working Papers 0707, International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists.
  6. Balafoutas, Loukas & Lindner, Florian & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Munich Reprints in Economics 20132, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Stefan Wagner, 2010. "Managerial succession and organizational performance-evidence from the German Soccer League," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(6), pages 415-430.
  8. Robert Dur & Joeri Sol, 2008. "Social Interaction, Co-Worker Altruism, and Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 2476, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Miklós-Thal, Jeanine & Ullrich, Hannes, 2009. "Nomination contests: theory and empirical evidence from professional soccer," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-027, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  10. Giancarlo Moschini, 2010. "Incentives And Outcomes In A Strategic Setting: The 3-Points-For-A-Win System In Soccer," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 65-79, 01.
  11. repec:dgr:uvatin:2008094 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Miklos-Thal, Jeanine & Ullrich, Hannes, 2010. "Effort in Nomination Contests: Evidence from Professional Soccer," MPRA Paper 24340, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Hans Matthews & John Schirm, 2010. "Tournaments and Office Politics: Evidence from a Real Effort Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 504-17, March.
  14. Grund, Christian & Höcker, Jan & Zimmermann, Stefan, 2010. "Risk Taking Behavior in Tournaments: Evidence from the NBA," IZA Discussion Papers 4812, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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