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Designing Practical and Fair Sequential Team Contests: The Case of Penalty Shootouts

Anbarci, N.; Sun, C.; Ünver, M.U.

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Authors

C. Sun

M.U. Ünver



Abstract

Economists have long recognized that the effect of move order on outcomes is non-negligible in sequential contests. We study tiebreak mechanisms used in team sports and known as penalty shootouts through a dynamic model. We characterize all order-independent mechanisms where two balanced teams have equal chances to win the shootout whenever they are tied after equal numbers of attempts; thus, move order has no relevance for winning chances. In most sports, such as football and hockey, teams take penalties in a fixed order, known as ABAB, while some tournaments adopted the alternating-order variant, ABBA. We find that these and all other exogenous-order mechanisms – with one exception – are order-dependent in regular rounds. Although ABBA is order independent in sudden-death rounds, ABAB is not. Our theory supports empirical studies linking ABAB to unfair outcomes and multiple equilibria in terms of winning chances of the first- vs. second-kicking teams in different football traditions.

Citation

Anbarci, N., Sun, C., & Ünver, M. (2021). Designing Practical and Fair Sequential Team Contests: The Case of Penalty Shootouts. Games and Economic Behavior, 130, 25-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2021.07.004

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 13, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 29, 2021
Publication Date 2021-11
Deposit Date Sep 28, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 29, 2023
Journal Games and Economic Behavior
Print ISSN 0899-8256
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 130
Pages 25-43
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geb.2021.07.004
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1239851

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