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Are three points for a win really better than two? Theoretical and empirical evidence for German soccer


  • Dilger, Alexander
  • Geyer, Hannah


The effects of the three-point rule in first league German soccer are tested empirically and compared to games from the German cup-competition. The inclusion of cup games ensures that changes in league games can be attributed to the three-point rule. As a result of their relative devaluation, the number of draws should decrease. Furthermore, an increase in the number of close wins is expected. The strategy of a leading team becomes more defensive, resulting in fewer goal shootings by that team, as well as fewer shooting opportunities for the opponent. Empirical evidence supporting these effects is found.

Suggested Citation

  • Dilger, Alexander & Geyer, Hannah, 2008. "Are three points for a win really better than two? Theoretical and empirical evidence for German soccer," IÖB-Diskussionspapiere 4/08, University of Münster, Institute for Economic Education.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ioebdp:408

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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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