Topic updates

Are teams in corrupt countries more likely to win a crucial last league game?

Geoff Riley

24th August 2016

Professional football teams struggling against relegation are much more likely to get the result they need on the last day of the season in countries with higher levels of corruption. For example, between 2001 and 2013, teams that struggled against relegation in Switzerland achieved the desired result in well under half of matches; in Russia, the desired result was achieved in more than three quarters of matches.

These are among the findings of research by Guy Elaad, Jeffrey Kantor and Alex Krumer, to be presented at the annual congress of the European Economic Association in Geneva in August 2016. Their study also reveals that the more corrupt a country, the higher the probability that a team that achieved the desired result will recipocate by losing in the later stages of the following season to the same team.

The researcher explore the relationship between corruption in a country – as measured by the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) – and the probability of determining the outcome of a contest in a real competitive setting, in which people in different countries are faced with exactly the same task under fixed and known rules. They analyse 827 end-of-season matches where the results were critical to one team in immediate danger of relegation to a lower division (usually a weaker team), while the other team was relatively indifferent about the result (usually a stronger team).

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.