Home Advantage in European International Soccer: Which Dimension of Distance Matters?

23 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Nils van Damme

Nils van Damme

Ghent University

Stijn Baert

Ghent University; University of Antwerp; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)


We investigate whether the home advantage in soccer differs by various dimensions of distance between the (regions of the) home and away teams: geographical distance, climatic differences, cultural distance, and disparities in economic prosperity. To this end, we analyse 2,012 recent matches played in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. We find that when the home team plays at a higher altitude, they benefit substantially more from their home advantage. Every 100 meters of altitude difference is associated with an increase in expected probability to win the match, as the home team, by 1.1 percentage points.

Keywords: soccer, home advantage, cultural distance, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League

JEL Classification: L83, J44, Z00

Suggested Citation

van Damme, Nils and Baert, Stijn, Home Advantage in European International Soccer: Which Dimension of Distance Matters?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12143. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390130

Nils Van Damme (Contact Author)

Ghent University

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000

Stijn Baert

Ghent University ( email )

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, Antwerp 2000

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/personeel/stijn-baert/

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

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Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uclouvain.be/en-309318.html

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=6832

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