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Peer Effects in Team Sports: Empirical Evidence From NCAA Relay Teams

Author

Listed:
  • Craig A. Depken, II

    () (Department of Economics, Belk College of Business, UNC-Charlotte, NC, USA)

  • Lisa E. Haglund

    (Department of Economics, University of Texas-Arlington, USA)

Abstract

This article investigates whether peer effects manifest in the performance of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 4 × 400 m men's relay teams. We test whether increasing the average quality of team members has a nonlinear and ultimately deleterious impact on team performance, measured by, relay time. Using both absolute and relative performance measures we find that increasing average team member quality improves team performance but at a decreasing rate. The authors attribute these diminishing returns to negative peer effects after finding that relay teams comprised of higher quality runners are more likely to underperform relative to their predicted quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig A. Depken, II & Lisa E. Haglund, 2011. "Peer Effects in Team Sports: Empirical Evidence From NCAA Relay Teams," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 12(1), pages 3-19, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:12:y:2011:i:1:p:3-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
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    4. Barron, John M & Gjerde, Kathy Paulson, 1997. "Peer Pressure in an Agency Relationship," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 234-254, April.
    5. Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2006. "Clean Evidence on Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 39-58, January.
    6. DepkenII, Craig A., 2000. "Wage disparity and team productivity: evidence from major league baseball," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 87-92, April.
    7. Fiona Carmichael & Dennis Thomas & Robert Ward, 2000. "Team performance: the case of English Premiership football," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 31-45.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brady, Ryan R. & Insler, Michael A. & Rahman, Ahmed S., 2017. "Bad Company: Understanding negative peer effects in college achievement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 144-168.
    2. Julia Müller & Thorsten Upmann & Joachim Prinz, 2013. "Individual Team Productivity - A Conceptual Approach," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-183/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Brad R. Humphreys & Jie Yang, 2014. "Peer Enforcement in Teams: Evidence from High-Skill Professional Workers with Repeated Interactions," Working Papers 14-24, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    teamwork; shirking; track and field; sports;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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