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Does the Three-Point Rule Make Soccer More Exciting? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design

  • Lee, Yoong Hon
  • Parinduri, Rasyad

We examine whether the three-point rule—the increase in rewards for a win from two- to three points that FIFA adopted in 1995—makes Bundesliga games become more exciting. Using regression discontinuity design as the empirical strategy, we do not find evidence that the three-point rule makes games more decisive, increases the number of goals, or decreases goal differences. We only find some evidence that the three-point rule increases the second-half goals of losing first-half teams. Overall, our results suggest that, in the case of Bundesliga games, the three-point rule does not work as FIFA intended.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48467.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48467
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  1. Julio del Corral & Juan Prieto-Rodriguez & Rob Simmons, 2008. "The Effect of Incentives on Sabotage: The Case of Spanish Football," IASE Conference Papers 0821, International Association of Sports Economists.
  2. Dunning,Thad, 2012. "Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107017665.
  3. Alexander Dilger & Hannah Geyer, 2009. "Are Three Points for a Win Really Better Than Two?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 10(3), pages 305-318, June.
  4. 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, 01.
  5. Dunning,Thad, 2012. "Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107698000.
  6. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. José Correia Guedes & Fernando S. Machado, 2002. "Changing rewards in contests: Has the three-point rule brought more offense to soccer?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 607-630.
  8. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2008. "Regression-Discontinuity Analysis: A Survey of Recent Developments in Economics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(2), pages 219-245, 06.
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