IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Can We Learn About Economics from Sport during Covid-19?


  • Carl Singleton

    (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

  • Alex Bryson

    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education)

  • Peter Dolton

    (Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

  • J. James Reade

    (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

  • Dominik Schreyer

    (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Unternehmensführung (WHU))


The economics of sport and how sport provides insights into economics have experienced exogenous shocks from Covid-19, facilitating many natural experiments. These have provided partial answers to questions of: how airborne viruses may spread in crowds; how crowds respond to the risk and information about infection; how the absence of crowds may affect social pressure and arbitration decisions; and how quickly betting markets respond to new information. We review this evidence and advise how sports economics research could continue to be most valuable to policymakers.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Singleton & Alex Bryson & Peter Dolton & J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer, 2021. "What Can We Learn About Economics from Sport during Covid-19?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-01, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2021-01

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2021. "Stadium attendance demand during the COVID-19 crisis: early empirical evidence from Belarus," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(18), pages 1542-1547, October.
    2. Alexander Ahammer & Martin Halla & Mario Lackner, 2020. "Mass Gatherings Contributed to Early COVID-19 Mortality: Evidence from US Sports," Economics working papers 2020-13, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Bryson, Alex & Dolton, Peter & Reade, J. James & Schreyer, Dominik & Singleton, Carl, 2021. "Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    4. Gary S. Becker & Yona Rubinstein, 2011. "Fear and the Response to Terrorism: An Economic Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp1079, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Brad R. Humphreys & Gary A. Wagner & John C. Whitehead & Pamela Wicker, "undated". "Willingness to pay for COVID-19 environmental health risk reductions in consumption: Evidence from U.S. professional sports," Working Papers 21-05, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    2. Pascal Flurin Meier & Raphael Flepp & Egon Franck, 2021. "Are sports betting markets semistrong efficient? Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic," Working Papers 387, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    3. Themis Kokolakakis & Fernando Lera-Lopez & Girish Ramchandani, 2021. "Measuring the Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s Leisure and Sport during the 2020 Lockdown," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(24), pages 1-15, December.
    4. Carl Singleton & J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer, 2021. "A decade of violence and empty stadiums in Egypt: When does emotion from the terraces affect behaviour on the pitch?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-21, Department of Economics, University of Reading.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-25, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    2. Matthew Olczak & J. James Reade & Matthew Yeo, 2020. "Mass Outdoor Events and the Spread of a Virus: English Football and Covid-19," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-19, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    3. Carl Singleton & J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer, 2021. "A decade of violence and empty stadiums in Egypt: When does emotion from the terraces affect behaviour on the pitch?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-21, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    4. Mauro Caselli & Paolo Falco, 2021. "When the Mob Goes Silent: Uncovering the Effects of Racial Harassment through a Natural Experiment," DEM Working Papers 2021/01, Department of Economics and Management.
    5. Llussá, Fernanda & Tavares, José, 2011. "Which terror at which cost? On the economic consequences of terrorist attacks," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 52-55, January.
    6. Abadie, Alberto & Dermisi, Sofia, 2008. "Is terrorism eroding agglomeration economies in Central Business Districts? Lessons from the office real estate market in downtown Chicago," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 451-463, September.
    7. Ainoa Aparicio & Shoshana Grossbard, 2021. "Are COVID fatalities in the US higher than in the EU, and if so, why?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 307-326, June.
    8. Satya P. Das & Prabal Roy Chowdhury, 2014. "Deterrence, Preemption, And Panic: A Common-Enemy Problem Of Terrorism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 219-238, January.
    9. Colella, F. & Dalton, Patricio & Giusti, G., 2021. "All you Need is Love : The Effect of Moral Support on Performance (Revision of CentER DP 2018-026)," Other publications TiSEM aa76dfa7-73db-45d1-8c47-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    10. Andrew E. Clark & Elena Stancanelli, 2016. "Individual Well-Being and the Allocation of Time Before and After the Boston Marathon Terrorist Bombing," PSE Working Papers hal-01302843, HAL.
    11. Ulrich Hendel, 2016. "‘Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t’: mimicking behaviour of growth-oriented terrorist organizations," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(5), pages 665-687, September.
    12. Ater, Itai & Givati, Yehonatan & Rigbi, Oren, 2014. "Organizational structure, police activity and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 62-71.
    13. Andrew E. Clark & Orla Doyle & Elena Stancanelli, 2017. "The Impact of Terrorism on Well-being: Evidence from the Boston Marathon Bombing," Working Papers 201717, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    14. Abel Brodeur, 2018. "The Effect of Terrorism on Employment and Consumer Sentiment: Evidence from Successful and Failed Terror Attacks," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 246-282, October.
    15. Besley, Timothy & Fetzer, Thiemo & Mueller, Hannes, 2019. "Terror and Tourism: The Economic Consequences of Media Coverage," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 449, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    16. Akay, Alpaslan & Bargain, Olivier & Elsayed, Ahmed, 2020. "Global terror, well-being and political attitudes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    17. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & Robert Witt, 2011. "Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime, and the July 2005 Terror Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2157-2181, August.
    18. Siddique, Zahra, 2018. "Violence and Female Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 11874, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Kai Fischer & J. James Reade & W. Benedikt Schmal, 2021. "The Long Shadow of an Infection: COVID-19 and Performance at Work," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-17, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    20. Eunsik Chang & María Padilla-Romo, 2019. "The Effects of Local Violent Crime on High-Stakes Tests," Working Papers 2019-03, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Sports Economics; Coronavirus; Natural Experiments; Referee Bias; Social Pressure; Prediction Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • Z20 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2021-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Alexander Mihailov (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.