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Biases in Voting - The Case of the FIFA Best Player Award

Tom Coupé, Olivier Gergaud and Abdul Noury ()

No 57, Discussion Papers from Kyiv School of Economics

Abstract: In this paper, we show that voters are biased but not strategic when voting for the FIFA best player award, the most prestigious award in soccer. We find that ‘similarity’ biases are substantial. Voters are four times more likely to vote for candidates with whom they share the national team or the same league team, and three times more likely to vote for a candidate with whom they share the same nationality. Despite presence of biases, we find little evidence for ‘strategic voting’, as voters who vote for one leading candidate (Messi) are more, rather than less, likely to also vote for his main competitor (Ronaldo). We also show that the impact of these biases on the total number of votes a candidate receives is fairly limited, as all candidates are likely to benefit (and lose) from these biases to a similar extent. The biases highlighted here could affect the outcome of the FIFA best player competition in the rare occasions where the difference in quality between the leading candidates is tiny.

Keywords: bias; voting; football (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 Z2 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-spo
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