Biases and Strategic Behaviour in Performance Evaluation: The Case of the FIFA's Best Soccer Player Award

22 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2018

See all articles by Tom Coupe

Tom Coupe

Kyiv School of Economics; Kyiv School of Economics - Kyiv Economics Institute (KEI)

Olivier Gergaud

Kedge - Bordeaux Business School

Abdul Noury

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

In this paper, we study biases in performance evaluation by analysing votes for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for best soccer player, the most prestigious award in the sport. Our findings suggest that ‘similarity’ biases are substantial, with jury members disproportionately voting for candidates from their own country, own national team, own continent and own league team. Further, we show that the impact of such biases on the total number of votes a candidate receives is fairly limited and hence is likely to affect the outcome of this competition only on rare occasions where the difference in quality between the leading candidates is small. Finally, analysing the incidence of ‘strategic voting’, we find jury members who vote for one leading candidate are more, rather than less, likely to also give points to his main competitor, as compared with neutral jury members. We discuss the implications of our findings for the design of awards, elections and performance evaluation systems in general and for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award in particular.

Suggested Citation

Coupe, Tom and Gergaud, Olivier and Noury, Abdul, Biases and Strategic Behaviour in Performance Evaluation: The Case of the FIFA's Best Soccer Player Award (April 2018). Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 80, Issue 2, pp. 358-379, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3129521 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obes.12201

Tom Coupe (Contact Author)

Kyiv School of Economics ( email )

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Kyiv School of Economics - Kyiv Economics Institute (KEI) ( email )

Kyiv, 04119
Ukraine

Olivier Gergaud

Kedge - Bordeaux Business School ( email )

Domaine de Luminy - BP 921
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Marseille, PACA 13288
France

Abdul Noury

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

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Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
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