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The advantage of scoring just before the halftime break – pure myth? Quasi-experimental evidence from European football


  • Philippe Meier

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Maximilian Rüdisser

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Raphael Flepp

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)

  • Egon Franck

    () (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)


We examine whether the moment just before the halftime break is a particularly good time to score a goal. Using detailed data from the top five European football leagues between the 2013/14 and 2017/18 seasons, we exploit the quasi-random occurrence of goals scored just before and just after the halftime break. In the former situation, the game is exogenously inter-rupted by a break immediately after the goal, whereas in the latter situation, the game continues without interruption. We show that in the case of a goal being scored just before halftime, the scoring team benefits more from the halftime break than the conceding team.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Meier & Maximilian Rüdisser & Raphael Flepp & Egon Franck, 2019. " The advantage of scoring just before the halftime break – pure myth? Quasi-experimental evidence from European football," Working Papers 382, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zrh:wpaper:382

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    football; football myth; halftime; scoring; quasi-experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • Z20 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - General

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