Match Fixing and Sports Betting in Football: Empirical Evidence from the German Bundesliga

26 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2017

See all articles by Christian Deutscher

Christian Deutscher

Bielefeld University

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania, Behavioral Ethics Lab

Brad R. Humphreys

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

Corruption in sports represents an important challenge to their integrity. Corruption can take many forms, including match fixing by players, referees, or team officials. Match fixing can be difficult to detect. We use a unique data set to analyze variation in bet volume on Betfair, a major online betting exchange, for evidence of abnormal patterns associated with specific referees who officiated matches. An analysis of 1,251 Bundesliga 1 football matches from 2010/11 to 2014/15 reveals evidence that bet volume in the Betfair markets in these matches was systematically higher for four referees relative to matches officiated by other referees. Our results are robust to alternative specifications and are thus suggestive of potentially existing match fixing and corruption in the German Bundesliga.

Keywords: Corruption, Betting Exchange, Football, Referee Bias

JEL Classification: D73, K42, L8, Z2

Suggested Citation

Deutscher, Christian and Dimant, Eugen and Humphreys, Brad R., Match Fixing and Sports Betting in Football: Empirical Evidence from the German Bundesliga (January 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2910662 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2910662

Christian Deutscher

Bielefeld University ( email )

Universit├Ątsstra├če 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania, Behavioral Ethics Lab ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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

Brad R. Humphreys (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

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