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