The Economics of Corruption in Sports: The Special Case of Doping

37 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2015

See all articles by Eugen Dimant

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania, Behavioral Ethics Lab

Christian Deutscher

Bielefeld University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 20, 2015

Abstract

Corruption in general and doping in particular are ubiquitous in both amateur and professional sports and have taken the character of a systemic threat. In creating unfair advantages, doping distorts the level playing field in sporting competition. With higher stakes involved, such distortions create negative externalities not only on the individual level (lasting health damages, for example) but also frictions on the aggregate level (such as loss of media interest) and erode the principle of sports. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive literature overview of the individual’s incentive to dope, the concomitant detrimental effects and respective countermeasures. In explaining the athlete’s motivation to use performance enhancing drugs, we enrich the discussion by adapting insights from behavioral economics. These insights help to understand such an athlete’s decision beyond a clear-cut rationale but rather as a product of the interaction with the underlying environment. We stress that in order to ensure clean sports and fair competition, more sophisticated measurement methods have to be formulated, and the respective data made publicly available in order to facilitate more extensive studies in the future. So far, the lack of data is alarming, especially in the area of elite sports where the stakes are high and doping has a substantial influence.

Keywords: Sports, Doping, Corruption, Institutional Corruption, Countermeasures, Survey, Athletics

JEL Classification: D73, K42, L83

Suggested Citation

Dimant, Eugen and Deutscher, Christian, The Economics of Corruption in Sports: The Special Case of Doping (January 20, 2015). Edmond J. Safra Working Papers, No. 55. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2546029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2546029

Eugen Dimant (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania, Behavioral Ethics Lab ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/eugendimant/

Christian Deutscher

Bielefeld University ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

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