Designing Fair Tiebreak Mechanisms: The Case of FIFA Penalty Shootouts
53 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2015
In the current FIFA penalty shootout mechanism, a coin toss decides which team will kick first. Empirical evidence suggests that the team taking the first kick has a higher probability to win a shootout. We design sequentially fair shootout mechanisms such that in all symmetric Markov-perfect equilibria each of the skill-balanced teams has exactly 50% chance to win whenever the score is tied at any round. Consistent with empirical evidence, we show that the current mechanism is not sequentially fair and characterize all sequentially fair mechanisms. Taking additional desirable properties into consideration, we propose and uniquely characterize a practical mechanism.
Keywords: Fairness, mechanism design, soccer, penalty shootouts, market design, axiomatic approach
JEL Classification: D63, C79, D47
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation