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Beautiful Game TheoryHow Soccer Can Help Economics$
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Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144023

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144023.001.0001

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Making the Beautiful Game a Bit Less Beautiful

Making the Beautiful Game a Bit Less Beautiful

(with Luis Garicano)

(p.124) 8 Making the Beautiful Game a Bit Less Beautiful
Beautiful Game Theory

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

Princeton University Press

This chapter is concerned with the implications of incentives. It studies an incentive change in a natural setting where both productive and sabotage activities can be directly observed: soccer. The analysis proceeds in four steps. First, it describes the basic behavioral changes that took place after the change to the three-point rule. Second, it uses the control matches in the cup tournament to estimate the effects caused by the change in rewards. Third, it tries to understand the underlying mechanisms through which these changes took place and the reason they neutralized each other in terms of goal scoring by examining the way the behavior of teams changed during the match. Finally, it shows that this change represented undesirable sabotage rather than, say, desirable greater intensity in the games.

Keywords:   soccer, incentives, rewards, behavioral changes, three-point rule

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