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Cost Incentives in European Football


  • Feddersen, Arne

    () (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Humphreys, Brad

    () (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Soebbing, Brian

    () (Louisiana State University)


We examine the effects of financial incentives on effort supplied by football clubs in European domestic leagues. Tournament theory predicts that the amount of effort supplied varies with returns to effort. We analyze variation in 31,746 domestic league match outcomes in ten European leagues over eleven seasons, exploiting the actual standings on the league table to generate variables reflecting incentives to provide effort in each match. Results from ordered logit regressions indicate that the effort implied by observed match outcomes support the predictions of tournament theory in this setting; clubs supply more or less effort in response to changes in incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Feddersen, Arne & Humphreys, Brad & Soebbing, Brian, 2012. "Cost Incentives in European Football," Working Papers 2012-13, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2012_013

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Budzinski, Oliver & Pawlowski, Tim, 2014. "The behavioural economics of competitive balance: Implications for league policy and championship management," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 89, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    2. Colin Green & Fernando Lozano & Rob Simmons, 2015. "Rank-Order Tournaments, Probability of Winning and Investing in Talent: Evidence from Champions' League Qualifying Rules," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 232(1), pages 30-40, May.
    3. Budzinski, Oliver & Müller-Kock, Anika, 2016. "Market power and media revenue allocation in professonal sports: The case of formula one," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 102, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    4. Budzinski, Oliver, 2017. "Market-internal financial regulation in sports as an anticompetitive institution," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 110, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    5. Lahvicka, Jiri, 2012. "Using Monte Carlo simulation to calculate match importance: the case of English Premier League," MPRA Paper 40998, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Pawlowski, Tim & Budzinski, Oliver, 2014. "Competitive balance and attention level effects: Theoretical considerations and preliminary evidence," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 84, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    7. Budzinski, Oliver, 2017. "Sind Wettbewerbe im Profisport Rattenrennen?," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 104, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item


    effort supply; football; UEFA Champions League;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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