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Ten Do It Better, Do They?: An Empirical Analysis of an Old Football Myth

Marco Caliendo () and Dubravko Radic

No 592, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: In this paper we investigate how the expulsion of a player influences the out-come of a football match. Common sense implies a negative impact for the affected team. However, an old football myth suggests that such an expulsion might also be beneficial since it increases the team spirit as well as the efforts of the affected team. We make use of a unique dataset containing all games played in a World Cup Championship between 1930 and 2002 and follow a twofold econometric strategy: We start with a conditional maximum likelihood estimator which is independent of the relative strength of the teams before we extend this estimator to take the relative strength of the teams and the minute of the expulsion into account. Our results indicate that the scoring intensities of both teams do not differ after the expulsion. Conducting scenario analysis reveals that the impact of a red card depends on the minute of the expulsion and does not have an impact at all if given at the end of the first half or later.

Keywords: Poisson process; (un)conditional likelihood; football; red card effect (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C40 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-spo
Date: 2006
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