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Riding High - Success in Sports and the Rise of Doping Cultures

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  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

This article develops a socio-economic model that analyzes the doping decision of professional athletes. In their decision to use performance enhancing drugs athletes do not only evaluate the costs and benefits (in terms of potential rank improvement). They also take into account peer-group approval of using drugs. Peer-group approval is modelled as a lagged endogenous variable that depends on the share of drug using athletes in the history of a sport. This way, the model can explain multiple equilibria as "doping cultures". Besides the comparative statics of the equilibrium (how can a doping culture be eliminated?) the article also investigates how the doping decision is affected by standards set by the respective leader in a sport, e.g. Olympic qualification marks, and by the taste of victory, i.e. the disproportionate public veneration of winners.

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File URL: http://www3.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/Forschung/Diskussionspapiere/dp-372.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover with number dp-372.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-372

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Keywords: sport; doping; approval; social dynamics; weak athletes; superheroes;

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  1. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1594-1605, December.
  3. Thomas J. Nechyba, 1999. "Social Approval, Values, and AFDC: A Re-Examination of the Illegitimacy Debate," NBER Working Papers 7240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anandi Mani & Charles H. Mullin, 2004. "Choosing the Right Pond: Social Approval and Occupational Choice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 835-862, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Strulik, Holger, 2014. "A mass phenomenon: The social evolution of obesity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 113-125.
  2. Daniel Mueller, 2013. "The Doping Threshold in Sport Contests," Working papers 2013/05, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  3. Evelyn Korn & Volker Robeck, 2013. "The role of sports physicians in doping: a note on incentives," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201317, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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