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Altitude as handicap in rank-order football tournaments

  • Agustín Casas

    ()

  • Yarine Fawaz

    ()

In 2007, based on medical reports, FIFA ruled that no international football competition could be played in stadiums with an altitude higher than 2500 meters. We provide stark evidence which supports the claim that playing in high altitude benefits the home team through two channels. First, in these scenarios, high altitude teams (HAT) do better against low altitude teams than against other high altitude teams. Second, every time that low altitude teams visit other high altitude teams they get fewer points than if they had played in a low altitude stadium. Therefore, the HAT go up in the ranking of the southamerican qualifiers for world cups, not only because of their own extra-advantage of playing in high altitudes, but also because the LAT do worse in all high altitude stadiums. According to our work, have this ruling taken effect, Ecuador would not have gone to the 2006 world cup, and therefore Ecuador's Football Federation would have lost at least 40 million dollars given out by FIFA to all teams going to the world cup.

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File URL: http://e-archivo.uc3m.es/bitstream/10016/17418/1/we1316.pdf
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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1316.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1316
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  1. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 2003. "Optimal Design of Research Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 646-671, June.
  2. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," Working Papers 2001-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  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. 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.
  5. Chumacero, Romulo, 2007. "Altitude or hot air?," MPRA Paper 15178, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2008.
  6. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  7. Per Pettersson-Lidbom & Mikael Priks, 2007. "Behavior under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias," CESifo Working Paper Series 1960, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. 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 155-79, April.
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