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

  • 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)

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.

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Article provided by in its journal Journal of Sports Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 3-19

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:12:y:2011:i:1:p:3-19
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  1. Allen R. Sanderson & John J. Siegfried, 2003. "Thinking About Competitive Balance," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0318, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  2. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  3. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  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. Ramaswamy, Ramana & Rowthorn, Robert E, 1991. "Efficiency Wages and Wage Dispersion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 501-14, November.
  8. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
  10. 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.
  11. 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 234-54, April.
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