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Optimal Mixed Strategy Play: Professionals Can, Students Cannot, But What About The In Between Case?

Listed author(s):
  • PFAFF Jordan

    (University of Central Arkansas, USA)

  • MCGARRITY P. Joseph

    (University of Central Arkansas, USA)

Registered author(s):

    Using penalty kicks in collegiate soccer matches, we test whether kickers choose where to place shots, and whether goalies choose where to dive in a way that is consistent with optimal mixed strategy play. The previous literature, studying professional soccer players, provides evidence of mixed strategy play in penalty kick scenarios. These results contrast with the evidence obtained in a lab, studying subjects who only play a game a few times and have insignificant monetary payoffs. These lab results find no evidence of mixed strategy play. The contrast between the results obtained from these very different environments makes it unclear which result generalizes to other settings. By studying college athletes, we analyze the middle ground, which is where most strategic decisions will be made. We find that college players employ optimal strategic play in some respects, but not in other respects.

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    File URL: http://eccsf.ulbsibiu.ro/RePEc/blg/journl/11210pfaff&mcgarrity.pdf
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    Article provided by Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences in its journal Studies in Business and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 2 (August)
    Pages: 104-114

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    Handle: RePEc:blg:journl:v:11:y:2016:i:2:p:104-114
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences Dumbravii Avenue, No 17, postal code 550324, Sibiu, Romania

    Phone: 004 0269 210375
    Fax: 004 0269 210375
    Web page: http://economice.ulbsibiu.ro/
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    1. World Bank Group, 2015. "Global Economic Prospects, June 2015," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21999, September.
    2. Mookherjee, Dilip & Sopher, Barry, 1997. "Learning and Decision Costs in Experimental Constant Sum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 97-132, April.
    3. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "Professionals Play Minimax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 395-415.
    4. Rapoport, Amnon & Erev, Ido & Abraham, Elizabeth V. & Olson, David E., 1997. "Randomization and Adaptive Learning in a Simplified Poker Game," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 31-49, January.
    5. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
    6. P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
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