This book presents accounts of economic and psychological analyses of association football (or "soccer" as it is popularly known in the USA). As football is widely accepted to be the world's most popular sport, the case for scientific investigation of its characteristics is self-evident. As the contributions to this book demonstrate, the game of football offers an ideal opportunity to empirically investigate a wide range of broad issues, for example: behavioural decision-making; judgmental forecasting; motivation; game-theoretic models of strategic choice; competition and labour markets. Are teams more likely to concede a goal after having just scored? Does the team going first in a penalty shoot-out have an advantage? Should goal-keepers dive or stay put for penalty kicks? Do referees make decisions consistently? Why do fans like their teams? What factors influence the career of footballers? How well can experts predict football matches? How accurate are prediction markets? How does the stock-market react to match outcomes? These questions and others are addressed in this book. A particular focus is the investigation of popular conceptions-and misconceptions-about football.
Of interest to psychologists, behavioural economists and football enthusiasts with an analytic approach to understanding the game, this book brings together contributions from a range of academic disciplines and will stimulate further research into football and the intriguing insights into behaviour it offers. See feature article in The Independent, October 8th, 2008: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/fact-or-fiction-form-in-football-954440.html Listen to interview with Patric Andersson on Swedish National Radio http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/P1/program/index.asp?ProgramID=1302 Read Chris Charles's blog on BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/chrischarles/2008/10/lies_damned_lies_and_statictic.html
"The book ... draws together academic research from around the world, taking to task widely held notions about the beautiful game. By subjecting what happens in football to scientific and mathematical tests, economists and psychologists argue that 'football phenomena' are indeed provable." -Nick Harris, The Independent, October 8th 2008