General Ability and Predictability: Evidence from Penalty Kicks in Soccer

21 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2008

See all articles by Florian Baumann

Florian Baumann

University of Tuebingen - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Tim Friehe

University of Konstanz - Department of Economics

Michael Wedow

European Central Bank (ECB) - Directorate Financial Stability and Supervision

Date Written: December 10, 2008

Abstract

This paper revisits the classic 2x2 penalty-kick, zero-sum game which exhibits an equilibrium only in mixed strategies. We show that (i) a kicker's general ability is a reliable indicator of his success rate, (ii) kickers' predictability, i.e. the extent to which probability is concentrated on one of the two actions, increases with the kicker's general ability, and (iii) kickers belonging to the minority type are characterized by a higher success rate. Consequently, we establish that kickers with a high general ability are more predictable. This predictability, however, has no adverse effects on the success rates of these kickers. All the theoretical predictions are in line with empirical evidence we provide from the German national soccer league.

Suggested Citation

Baumann, Florian and Friehe, Tim and Wedow, Michael, General Ability and Predictability: Evidence from Penalty Kicks in Soccer (December 10, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1314787 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1314787

Florian Baumann (Contact Author)

University of Tuebingen - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Mohlstrasse 36
D-72074 Tuebingen, 72074
Germany

Tim Friehe

University of Konstanz - Department of Economics ( email )

Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

Michael Wedow

European Central Bank (ECB) - Directorate Financial Stability and Supervision ( email )

Frankfurt a.M.
Germany

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