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A Sequential Game Model Of Sports Championship Series: Theory And Estimation

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  • Christopher Ferrall
  • Anthony A. Smith

Abstract

Using data from professional baseball, basketball, and hockey, we estimate the parameters of a sequential game model of best-of-n championship series controlling for measured and unmeasured differences in team strength and bootstrapping the maximum-likelihood estimates to improve their small sample properties. We find negligible strategic effects in all three sports: teams play as well as possible in each game regardless of the game's importance in the series. We also estimate negligible unobserved heterogeneity after controlling for regular season records and past appearance in the championship series: Teams are estimated to be exactly as strong as they appear on paper. © 2000 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Ferrall & Anthony A. Smith, 1999. "A Sequential Game Model Of Sports Championship Series: Theory And Estimation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 704-719, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:81:y:1999:i:4:p:704-719
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    Cited by:

    1. Dmitry Ryvkin & Andreas Ortmann, 2008. "The Predictive Power of Three Prominent Tournament Formats," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(3), pages 492-504, March.
    2. Mago, Shakun D. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Yates, Andrew, 2013. "Best-of-three contest experiments: Strategic versus psychological momentum," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 287-296.
    3. Chen, Jiawei & Shum, Matthew, 2010. "Estimating a tournament model of intra-firm wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 155(1), pages 39-55, March.
    4. Dmitry Dagaev & Andrey Zubanov, 2017. "Round-Robin Tournaments with Limited Resources," HSE Working papers WP BRP 171/EC/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    5. Koop G., 2002. "Comparing the Performance of Baseball Players: A Multiple-Output Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 710-720, September.
    6. Andrew J. Leach, 2003. "SubGame, set and match. Identifying Incentive Response in a Tournament," Cahiers de recherche 04-02, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
    7. Erez, Eyal & Sela, Aner, 2010. "Round-Robin Tournaments with Effort Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 8021, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction
      [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]
      ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    9. Ambroise Decamps & Changxia Ke & Lionel Page, 2018. "How success breeds success," QuBE Working Papers 053, QUT Business School.
    10. Dmitry Ryvkin, 2011. "Fatigue in Dynamic Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 1011-1041, December.
    11. Vincenzo Verardi, 2015. "Who has won Rugby Union World Cups, and why? A sequential approach based on multinomial probit," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2015 20, Stata Users Group.
    12. Dan Bernhardt & Steven Heston, 2010. "Point Shaving In College Basketball: A Cautionary Tale For Forensic Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 14-25, January.
    13. repec:eee:corfin:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:506-523 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Tomislav Vukina & Xiaoyong Zheng, 2011. "Homogenous and Heterogenous Contestants in Piece Rate Tournaments: Theory and Empirical Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 506-517, October.
    15. Giancarlo Moschini, 2010. "Incentives And Outcomes In A Strategic Setting: The 3-Points-For-A-Win System In Soccer," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 65-79, January.
    16. Beck A. Taylor & Justin G. Trogdon, 2002. "Losing to Win: Tournament Incentives in the National Basketball Association," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 23-41, January.
    17. Romain Gauriot & Lionel Page, 2014. "Does success breed success? A quasi-experiment on strategic momentum in dynamic contests," QuBE Working Papers 028, QUT Business School.
    18. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2013. "Leading-effect vs. Risk-taking in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Real-life Randomized Experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 15452, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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