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Altitude as handicap in rank-order football tournaments

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  • Agustin Casas
  • Yarine Fawaz

Abstract

The structure of professional sports allows us to document predictions from the theory of rank-order tournaments (Lazear and Rosen 1981). In the context of South American FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, under the presence of heterogeneous agents, handicapping the best quality players may increase the tournaments' efficiency by making the contest more competitive. In particular, we show that playing in high-altitude stadiums (above 2500 m) constitutes a handicap as the otherwise least competitive teams benefit from the existence of an altitude advantage.

Suggested Citation

  • Agustin Casas & Yarine Fawaz, 2016. "Altitude as handicap in rank-order football tournaments," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 180-183, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:23:y:2016:i:3:p:180-183
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2015.1061640
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Priks, Mikael, 2010. "Behavior under social pressure: Empty Italian stadiums and referee bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 212-214, August.
    3. Rómulo A. Chumacero, 2009. "Altitude or Hot Air?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 10(6), pages 619-638, December.
    4. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2003. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 646-671, June.
    5. Armando Levy & Tomislav Vukina, 2004. "The League Composition Effect in Tournaments with Heterogeneous Players: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 353-378, April.
    6. Knoeber, Charles R & Thurman, Walter N, 1994. "Testing the Theory of Tournaments: An Empirical Analysis of Broiler Production," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 155-179, April.
    7. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2005. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 208-216, May.
    8. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
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