... and receive personalised notifications on
new pluralistic content directly into your inbox!

Sport as a Behavioral Economics Lab

CHAN, Ho Fai, SAVAGE, David A., and TORGLER, Benno
Econstor, 2021
Level: beginner
Perspective: Behavioral Economics
Topic: Other
Format: Working Paper

Sporting events can be seen as controlled, real-world, miniature laboratory environments, approaching the idea of “holding other things equal” when exploring the implications of decisions, incentives, and constraints in a competitive setting (Goff and Tollison 1990, Torgler 2009). Thus, a growing number of studies have used sports data to study decision-making questions that have guided behavioral economics literature. Creative application of sports data can offer insights into behavioral aspects with implications beyond just sports. In this chapter, we will discuss the methodological advantages of seeing sport as a behavioral economics lab, concentrating on the settings, concepts, biases, and challenging areas. Beyond that, we will discuss questions that have not yet been analyzed, offering ideas for future studies using sports data. We will further reflect on how AI has evolved; focusing, for example, on chess, which provides insights into the mechanism and machinery of decision-making.

Comment from our editors:

The value of sports practices for a country goes far beyond the sport itself. And in recent years there has been an increasing body of considered evidence of the role of sport in providing a variety of benefits to communities and individuals, especially economic growth and social well-being. In this article, the authors focused on the role of sport in economics, with emphasis on behavioral economics. This article reading is recommended for those passionate about the interfaces between different areas of science.

Go to: Sport as a Behavioral Economics Lab

This material has been suggested and edited by:


This project is brought to you by the Network for Pluralist Economics (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.).  It is committed to diversity and independence and is dependent on donations from people like you. Regular or one-off donations would be greatly appreciated.