Marc Rohde and Christoph Breuer

Europe’s professional football clubs engage in intraseasonal races to win the league, qualify for Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) competitions, and avoid relegation. In these competitions, playing talent is a scarce good as players invest effort in the form of fitness and the risk of injuries. Thus, managers face incentives to adjust effort levels by means of changing the value of starting squads. This paper analyzes whether managers save efforts in the absence of financial incentives or ahead of more important games. The theoretical model extends previous papers from the...Read more

Brian P. Soebbing
Brad R. Humphreys
Daniel S. Mason

Many sports leagues use unbalanced schedules where teams do not play each opponent an equal number of times each season. In many leagues, teams that do not make the playoffs have the opportunity to improve by drafting highly skilled amateur players in the next entry draft, but the opportunity to pick first in the draft provides teams with an incentive to intentionally lose games. This has been a concern in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where the draft format has been altered three times since the 1980s. This research examines the strategic behavior of eliminated teams against...Read more