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Nobody's innocent: the role of customers in the doping dilemma

  • Buechel, Berno
  • Emrich, Eike
  • Pohlkamp, Stefanie

To which extent high performances in professional sports are based on the use of illicit substances or other doping practices is extremely difficult to measure empirically. Game-theoretical approaches predict strong incentives to dope based on the interaction among athletes (prisoner's dilemma) or the interaction between some control organization and the athletes (inspection game). The role of stakeholders such as customers, sponsors, and the media is either ignored or only informally discussed. One might think that customers who are ready to withdraw their support after a doping scandal, would reduce the incentives to dope. We explicitly model the strategic interaction of such customers with athletes and organizers and strongly refute this (optimistic) conjecture. Customers even trigger doping by putting a threat on the organizers not to conduct serious doping tests. However, we show that this result can be altered by a change in the information structure. If transparency about doping tests is established, then there is a doping-free equilibrium. This has practical implications for the design of anti-doping policies, as well as for other situations of fraudulent activities.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44627.

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Date of creation: 20 Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44627
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  1. Roland Kirstein, 2009. "Doping, the Inspection Game, and Bayesian Monitoring," FEMM Working Papers 09036, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  2. Luciano Andreozzi, 2004. "Rewarding Policemen Increases Crime. Another Surprising Result from the Inspection Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 69-82, October.
  3. Nicolas Eber, 2008. "The Performance-Enhancing Drug Game Reconsidered," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 9(3), pages 318-327, June.
  4. Nicolas EBER & Jacques THÉPOT, 1999. "Doping in Sport and Competition Design," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1999044, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  5. Holler, Manfred J, 1993. " Fighting Pollution When Decisions Are Strategic," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 76(4), pages 347-56, August.
  6. Aleksander Berentsen & Yvan Lengwiler, . "Fraudulent Accounting and Other Doping Games," IEW - Working Papers 175, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Holler, Manfred J., 1990. "The unprofitability of mixed-strategy equilibria in two-person games : A second folk-theorem," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 319-323, April.
  8. Wolfgang Maennig, 2002. "On the Economics of Doping and Corruption in International Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(1), pages 61-89, February.
  9. Berentsen, Aleksander, 2002. "The Economics of doping," MPRA Paper 37322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. R. J. Aumann & M. Maschler, 1972. "Some Thoughts on the Minimax Principle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(5-Part-2), pages 54-63, January.
  11. Tim Friehe, 2008. "Correlated payoffs in the inspection game: some theory and an application to corruption," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 127-143, October.
  12. Avenhaus, Rudolf & Von Stengel, Bernhard & Zamir, Shmuel, 2002. "Inspection games," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 51, pages 1947-1987 Elsevier.
  13. Berentsen, Aleksander & Bruegger, Esther & Loertscher, Simon, 2008. "On cheating, doping and whistleblowing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 415-436, June.
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