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The effects of the three-point rule in individual sports: Evidence from chess

Listed author(s):
  • Parinduri, Rasyad
  • Lee, Yoong Hon
  • Tiong, Kung Ming

We examine the effects of the three-point rule in individual sports. We consider chess in which most tournaments use the standard rule while some tournaments use the Bilbao rule, which is identical to the three-point rule in soccer: We observe the same pairs of chess players playing under both rules, a research design that fits fixed-effect models. We find the Bilbao rule makes games 33 percent more decisive, mostly to white players’ advantage who win 50 percent more games. We identify two mechanisms why the Bilbao rule works: It encourages players to play longer and discourages them from using drawish openings. These results suggest incentive schemes like the three-point rule work in individual sports in which efforts and financial rewards are directly linked and game dynamics and strategic interactions among teammates and with opponents are less complex.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/71060/1/MPRA_paper_71060.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 71060.

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Date of creation: May 2016
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:71060
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  1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
  2. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
  3. Lee Yoong Hon & Rasyad A. Parinduri, 2016. "Does the Three-Point Rule Make Soccer More Exciting? Evidence From a Regression Discontinuity Design," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 17(4), pages 377-395, May.
  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. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  6. 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.
  7. William Chan & Pascal Courty & Li Hao, 2009. "Suspense: Dynamic Incentives in Sports Contests," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 24-46, 01.
  8. Kjetil K. Haugen, 2008. "Point Score Systems and Competitive Imbalance in Professional Soccer," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 9(2), pages 191-210, April.
  9. Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534.
  10. 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.
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