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The Effect of Incentives on Sabotage: The Case of Spanish Football

Author

Listed:
  • Julio del Corral

    (University of Oviedo-Fundación Observatorio, Económico del Deporte, corraljulio@uniovi.es)

  • Juan Prieto-Rodríguez

    (University of Oviedo-Fundación Observatorio, Económico del Deporte)

  • Rob Simmons

    (Lancaster University Management School)

Abstract

A growing literature examines adverse behavior as unintended consequences of incentives. We test Lazear’s hypothesis that states that if rewards were dependent solely on relative performance then an increase in rewards would induce agents to engage in sabotage activity to reduce rivals’ output. We test this hypothesis using the natural experiment of a rule change in Spanish football, the increase in points for winning a league match from two to three. We find, consistent with Lazear’s hypothesis, that teams in a winning position were more likely to commit offences punishable by dismissal of a player after this change.

Suggested Citation

  • Julio del Corral & Juan Prieto-Rodríguez & Rob Simmons, 2010. "The Effect of Incentives on Sabotage: The Case of Spanish Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(3), pages 243-260, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:11:y:2010:i:3:p:243-260
    DOI: 10.1177/1527002509340666
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    incentives; sabotage; rules; red cards; football;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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