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Game importance as a dimension of uncertainty of outcome

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  • Lei Xinrong

    () (Child and Family Research Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1010 W. Nevada, Suite 2080, Urbana, IL 61801, USA)

  • Humphreys Brad R.

    () (Department of Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 0T3 Canada)

Abstract

Sports teams have incentives to put more effort into games with an immediate effect on standings compared to games that do not, possibly affecting outcome uncertainty. We develop a measure of game outcome uncertainty, game importance (GI), that captures how each game affects a team’s standing and can be calculated for individual games. Results show that observed variation in GI explains observed variation in attendance, game outcomes, and margin of victory at MLB games over the 1994 through 2010 seasons, suggesting that GI is an influential indicator in fans’ attendance decisions, consistent with the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei Xinrong & Humphreys Brad R., 2013. "Game importance as a dimension of uncertainty of outcome," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 25-36, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:9:y:2013:i:1:p:25-36:n:3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brad R. Humphreys & Li Zhou, 2014. "The Louis-Schmelling Paradox and the League Standing Effect Reconsidered," Working Papers 14-22, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    2. Nola Agha & Thomas Rhoads, 2016. "The League Standing Effect: The Case of a Split Season in Minor League Baseball," Working Papers 2016-13, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2016.

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