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The Economics of the FIFA Football Worldcup


  • Benno Torgler


The expansion of economics to ‘non‐market topics’ has received increased attention in recent years. The economics of sports (football) is such a sub‐field. This paper reports empirical evidence of team and referee performances in the FIFA World Cup 2002. The results reveal that being a hosting nation has a significant impact on the probability of winning a game. Furthermore, the strength of a team measured with the FIFA World Ranking does not play the important role presumed, which indicates that the element of uncertainty is working. The findings also indicate that the influence of a referee on the game result should not be neglected. Finally, the previous World Cup experiences seem to have the strongest impact on referees' performances during the game. Die Erweiterung der Ökonomie auf ‘aussermarktliche Bereiche’ hat in den letzten Jahren gesteigerte Aufmerksamkeit erhalten. Die Ökonomik des Sports (Fussballs) ist solch ein Unterfeld. Das vorliegende Papier analysiert empirisch Team‐ und Schiedsrichterleistungen der FIFA Fussballweltmeisterschaft 2002. Die Ergebnisse weisen darauf hin, dass der Heimvorteil einen signifikanten Einfluss auf die Wahrscheinlichkeit eines Sieges ausübt. Zudem spielt die Stärke einer Mannschaft gemäss dem FIFA World Ranking nicht die Rolle, die man eigentlich erwarten würde, was darauf hindeutet, dass das Element der Unsicherheit funktioniert. Die Resultate zeigen auch, dass der Einfluss eines Schiedsrichters auf das Spielresultat nicht zu vernachlässigen ist. Schliesslich scheinen die früheren Weltmeisterschaftserfahrungen die Leistung des Schiedsrichters während des Spiels am meisten zu beeinflussen. L'extension des sciences économiques à des domaines ‘hors du marché’ a attiré une attention croissante au cours de ces dernières années. L'économie du sport (du football) est un tel domaine. Cet article analyse de façon empirique la performance des équipes ainsi que des arbitres pendant la Coupe du Monde FIFA en 2002. Les résultats montrent que l'avantage de jouer sur son propre terrain a une influence significative sur la probabilité de gagner un match. En outre, la force d'une équipe selon le classement mondial de la FIFA ne joue pas le rôle prépondérant que l'on pourrait supposer, démontrant ainsi que l'incertitude joue. Les résultats montrent également que l'influence de l'arbitre sur le résultat du match ne doit pas être négligée. Enfin, les expériences préalables en Coupe du Monde semblent être le facteur le plus influent sur la performance des arbitres pendant le match.

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler, 2004. "The Economics of the FIFA Football Worldcup," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 287-300, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:57:y:2004:i:2:p:287-300
    DOI: 10.1111/j.0023-5962.2004.00255.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Antonietti, 2008. "Il ruolo economico dell’arbitro di calcio: una rassegna della letteratura e alcune questioni aperte," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 4(3), pages 75-103, Dicembre.
    2. Zaytseva, I., 2018. "Social Capital as a Factor of Sport Achievements: The Case of National Football Teams," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 34-60.
    3. David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Nerves of steel? Stress, work performance and elite athletes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(19), pages 2423-2435, July.
    4. Asier Minondo, 2017. "Fundamental Versus Granular Comparative Advantage: An Analysis Using Chess Data," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 425-455, August.
    5. van Damme, Nils & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "Home advantage in European international soccer: Which dimension of distance matters?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 13, pages 1-17.
    6. Stephan Nuesch & Egon Franck, 2009. "The Role of Patriotism in Explaining the TV Audience of National Team Games—Evidence From Four International Tournaments," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 6-19.
    7. Torgler, Benno & Schmidt, Sascha L & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "The Power of Positional Concerns: A Panel Analysis," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1z14v7zt, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    8. Sascha L. Schmidt & Benno Torgler & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Die Auswirkungen von Neid auf individuelle Leistungen: Ergebnisse einer Panelanalyse," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-28, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    9. Roberto Gásquez & Vicente Royuela, 2016. "The Determinants of International Football Success: A Panel Data Analysis of the Elo Rating," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 97(2), pages 125-141, June.
    10. Thomas Dohmen & Jan Sauermann, 2016. "Referee Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 679-695, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "The Power of Positional Concerns: A Panel Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Dawson, Peter & Dobson, Stephen, 2010. "The influence of social pressure and nationality on individual decisions: Evidence from the behaviour of referees," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-191, April.
    14. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Effect of Linguistic Heterogeneity on Technology Transfer: An Economic Study of FIFA Football Rankings," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 40(1), pages 85-99, March.
    15. Stijn Baert & Simon Amez, 2018. "No better moment to score a goal than just before half time? A soccer myth statistically tested," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(3), pages 1-17, March.
    16. Alex Bryson & Giambattista Rossi & Rob Simmons, 2014. "The Migrant Wage Premium in Professional Football: A Superstar Effect?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 12-28, February.
    17. De Meyere, Arne & Vanruymbeke, Ward & Baert, Stijn, 2018. "Player Dismissal and Full Time Results in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League," IZA Discussion Papers 11722, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Babatunde Buraimo & David Forrest & Robert Simmons, 2010. "The 12th man?: refereeing bias in English and German soccer," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(2), pages 431-449, April.
    19. Y.E. Akgündüz & M.R. van den Berg, 2013. "Make or buy? Human capital accumulation strategies in European club football," Working Papers 13-17, Utrecht School of Economics.
    20. Raul Caruso & Marco Di Domizio & David A. Savage, 2017. "Differences in National Identity, Violence and Conflict in International Sport Tournaments: Hic Sunt Leones!," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 511-545, November.
    21. Ferda HALICIOGLU, 2005. "Forecasting the Professional Team Sporting Events: Evidence from Euro 2000 and 2004 Football Tournaments," Industrial Organization 0508001, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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