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Riding High - Success in Sports and the Rise of Doping Cultures

Holger Strulik ()

Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) from Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

Abstract: This article develops a socio-economic model that analyzes the doping decision of professional athletes. In their decision to use performance enhancing drugs athletes do not only evaluate the costs and benefits (in terms of potential rank improvement). They also take into account peer-group approval of using drugs. Peer-group approval is modelled as a lagged endogenous variable that depends on the share of drug using athletes in the history of a sport. This way, the model can explain multiple equilibria as "doping cultures". Besides the comparative statics of the equilibrium (how can a doping culture be eliminated?) the article also investigates how the doping decision is affected by standards set by the respective leader in a sport, e.g. Olympic qualification marks, and by the taste of victory, i.e. the disproportionate public veneration of winners.

Keywords: sport; doping; approval; social dynamics; weak athletes; superheroes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 D71 K40 L83 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-spo
Date: 2007-08
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Journal Article: Riding High: Success in Sports and the Rise of Doping Cultures (2012) Downloads
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