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THE Economics of Match-Fixing

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Keywords
  • L83 - Sports
  • Gambling
  • Recreation
  • Tourism
  • D73 - Bureaucracy
  • Administrative Processes In Public Organizations
  • Corruption

Abstract

The phenomenon of match-fixing does constitute a constant element of sport contests. This paper presents a simple formal model in order to explain it. The intuition behind is that an asymmetry in the evaluation of the stake is the key factor leading to match-fixing. In sum, this paper considers a partial equilibrium model of contest where two asymmetric, rational and risk-neutral opponents evaluate differently a contested stake. Differently from common contest models, agents have the option of choosing a second instrument to affect the outcome of the contest. The second instrument is assumed to capture positive investments in ‘contest management’ – namely efforts paving the way for a match-fixing. In particular, it will be demonstrated that, under some conditions, an asymmetry in the evaluation of the stake can lead to a concession from one agent to the other and then to a match-fixing. Eventually the intuitions and results of the model will be applied to make a comparison between the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League tournaments.

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