Does Losing Lead to Winning? An Empirical Analysis for Four Sports

Management Science, forthcoming

62 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2020 Last revised: 2 Dec 2021

See all articles by Bouke Klein Teeselink

Bouke Klein Teeselink

Yale School of Management

Martijn J. van den Assem

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Dennie van Dolder

University of Essex - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 01, 2021

Abstract

Berger and Pope (2011) show that being slightly behind increases the likelihood of winning in professional (NBA) and collegiate (NCAA) basketball. We extend their analysis to large samples of Australian football, American football, and rugby matches, but find no evidence of such an effect for these three sports. When we revisit the phenomenon for basketball, we only find supportive evidence for NBA matches from the period analyzed in Berger and Pope. There is no significant effect for NBA matches from outside this sample period, for NCAA matches, or for matches from the Women's NBA. High-powered meta-analyses across the different sports and competitions do not reject the null hypothesis of no effect of being slightly behind on winning. The confidence intervals suggest that the true effect, if existent at all, is likely relatively small.

Keywords: competition, sports, motivation, performance, regression discontinuity

JEL Classification: D01, D91, Z20

Suggested Citation

Klein Teeselink, Bouke and van den Assem, Martijn J. and van Dolder, Dennie, Does Losing Lead to Winning? An Empirical Analysis for Four Sports (December 01, 2021). Management Science, forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3669174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3669174

Bouke Klein Teeselink (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

165 Whitney Ave
New Haven, CT 06511

Martijn J. Van den Assem

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Dennie Van Dolder

University of Essex - Department of Economics ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
333
Abstract Views
1,606
rank
124,960
PlumX Metrics