Beating Thy Neighbor: Derby Effects in German Professional Soccer

23 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2010  

Agnes Bäker

University of Zurich

Mario Mechtel

Leuphana University of Lueneburg

Karin Vetter

University of Tuebingen

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

Derbies between two teams from the same city or region catch more public attention than "normal'' soccer matches. Terms such as "Old Firm" (Rangers vs. Celtic), "Merseyside" (Liverpool FC vs. Everton FC), "Superclásico'' (Boca Juniors vs. River Plate), and "Revierderby" (Dortmund vs. Schalke) are well-known even to people outside their respective countries of origin. Using data from the German Bundesliga from 1999 to 2009, we test whether derbies differ from other soccer matches with respect to the number of goals, match results, the number of scoring chances for both teams, and referee evaluations. We find some evidence for derby effects, for example, the home advantage of the home team with respect to the number of goals scored, the match result and the attempts vanishes whenever the match is a derby. With respect to the evaluation of the referee, we find evidence that sending-offs are associated with a lower referee performance grade in derbies. We conclude that referees make a greater number of wrong decisions in derbies with regard to sending-offs. However, when considering the overall marginal effects of a derby on our dependent variables, we find no significant differences between derbies and "normal" matches.

Keywords: soccer, team performance, city derby, Bundesliga

JEL Classification: L83, Z0

Suggested Citation

Bäker, Agnes and Mechtel, Mario and Vetter, Karin, Beating Thy Neighbor: Derby Effects in German Professional Soccer (December 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1718355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1718355

Agnes Bäker

University of Zurich

Plattenstr. 14
Zürich, CH-8032
Switzerland

Mario Mechtel (Contact Author)

Leuphana University of Lueneburg ( email )

Scharnhorststraße 1
Wilschenbrucher Weg 69
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany
+4941316772636 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mario-mechtel.de

Karin Vetter

University of Tuebingen ( email )

Nauklerstr. 47
72074 Tuebingen, Baden Wuerttemberg 72074
Germany

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