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Having Good Friends is a Good Thing: The Effects of Peers and Superstars on Performance in Swimming Competitions

Wen-jhan Jane, Jia-Ling Yao () and Jye-Shyan Wang ()
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Jia-Ling Yao: Department of Economics, National Taiwan University
Jye-Shyan Wang: Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University

International Journal of Economic Sciences, 2018, vol. 7, issue 1, 39-64

Abstract: By exploiting an unusually rich panel data set from the National Database of Student Athletes, this article addresses the issue of peer effects and superstar effects on performance in multi-stage swimming competitions. Four key findings are presented. First, the evidence from relay teams supports a positive inter-team peer effect from competitors in a male relay race, but a negative inter-team peer effect from competitors in a female relay race. Second, the evidence from both female and male relay teams shows that there exists a positive intra-team peer effect from teammates. In our estimations for female relay races, a foolish teammate does more harm (+3.11 seconds) than a brilliant opponent does good (+0.55 seconds) in the estimation of the Heckman Selection Model based on panel data. Third, a male team with average-quality swimmers performs better than a team with dispersed-quality swimmers. Fourth, for the super-team effects in these tournaments, on average, the female relay teams? (/male relay teams?) times are approximately 2.85(/2.09) seconds faster/slower when the previous year?s winning team participates.

Keywords: Heterogeneous tournaments; Multi-stage tournaments; Peer effects; Superstar effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J18 L83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:sek:jijoes:v:7:y:2018:i:1:p:39-64