Soccernomics (2nd Edition)
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questionanswerpagechapterHigher Bloom
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The status quo bias is a psychological theory that focuses on people being unable to change from their default positions. How have past owners/managers of soccer clubs exhibited this status quo bias?
They continue to discriminate against certain players/coaches and repeat those mistakes despite what data tells them.
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Why was Bill James so focussed on breaking the traditional notions of how to analyze players?
He felt that the stats available should be studied just like a scientist
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Despite fan denial, why is a love of soccer often intertwined with a love of numbers?
Fans spend hours looking at stats and studying league tables each week. This doesn't even mention fans who participate in soccer fantasy leagues, which are all about numbers
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How is the data revolution in sports similar to that of the data revolution in politics?
Not every election is about getting a home run, but instead trying to string together a series of small wins
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Why do coaches and general managers tend to focus on short-term gains when they take over a team instead of long-run gains?
Coaches/GMs aren't paid a share of the profits and there's not guarantee they'll be around for a long time. They have to focus on winning today.
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Why are certain nationalities overvalued in the soccer transfer market?
Certain countries have a reputation for producing soccer players, even if they aren't that good
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How is hair color representative of an availability heuristic?
It's rare (except in Scandanavian) to see blondes playing soccer, so scouts focus on them more
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How has relocation issues plagued the transfer market for international players?
Teams pay big money to bring players in from all over the world and then they don't acclimate them to the area and they end up failing
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Why do soccer clubs struggle with appropriability?
Millions of people love soccer, but they're not willing to spend lots of money to support the team. Fans enjoy soccer through free avenues like newspaper and online blogs that don't give money to teams/leagues.
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What's an example where the world earns more from soccer players than the actual teams do?
Newspapers and television companies all sell subscriptions because their readers want a sports section.
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What is the moral hazard associated with running a soccer club into the ground?
There are government loopholes that allow teams to get out of debt and restructure. There's no incentive to be profitable because soccer clubs basically can't be shut down.
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What is the standard way to test for discrimination in most industries?
Run a resume study that looks at the employment opportunities of people with the same resumes
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What are the markers needed to determine whether a soccer clubs is discriminating against black players?
See if teams with more black players are placing higher on the league table (winning more with cheaper talent)
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Why is transparency important in ensuring that markets are operating efficienctly?
You need to be able to see what others are doing to put a value on their actions. This helps see if their decisions are worth replicating.
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How do efficient markets "punish" discriminatory firms?
If qualified workers are being looked over than smart managers can hire those managers at a discount and win more.
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Why is it hard to compare the success of CEOs of traditional companies to managers of a soccer club?
For one, CEOs tend to have a longer tenure so they can reap long-term investments more quickly and second, successful clubs need to find the best 11 players, but traditional companies aren't penalized with one bad worker.
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How are penalty kicks in soccer representatitve of a zero-sum game?
The action results in one player winning and the other losing. There is no split outcome
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Why are mixed strategies so hard to incorporate in games?
It requires randomness and humans are inherently not random
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How do Liberals and Conservatives differ in response to how we treat the world of knowledge?
Convervatives think we've reached the limit and Liberals believe we need to be patient
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How do the researchers measure the love of soccer using participation data?
FIFA counts the number of players in each country who are registered with clubs and then the authors analyze it based on country size
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How can the definitions we apply to drug users be used to describe soccer fans?
We describe drug users as being attached (hooked/chained) to their drugs in the same way that soccer fans are attached to their favorite clubs
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What is the method that sports team owners use to encourage local residents to build stadiums for them?
They hire economists to conduct impact reports that list all the economic benefits of building a stadium, few of which are actually true.
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Why are high-income countries ranked so highly in the "sports lovers" ranking lists?
They have income levels sufficiently high to support leisure activities
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Where did the book begin?Hilton in Istanbul1Soccer1
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What are the jobs of the two authors of the book?Sports economist and journalist1Soccer1
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Which club was marking its centenary?Fenerbahce soccer club1Soccer1
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Simon Kuper told Istanbul that as their population mushroomed and its economy grew, what would happen?
its national team was likely to keep getting better1Soccer1
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Stefan Szymanski told Istanbul that as their population mushroomed and its economy grew, what would happen?
its national team was likely to keep getting better2Soccer1
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Stefan Szymanski is an economist who is trained to do what till data?torture it until it confesses2Soccer1
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Entrepreneurs buy soccer clubs and promise to do what with them?run them like businesses2Soccer1
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Soccer clubs are run by people who do what?
what they do because they have always done it that way
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Which Jamesian penetrated baseball as a general manager?Billy Beane3Soccer1
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Bill James's followers are known as what?sabermatricians3Soccer1
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Bill James first book sold how many copies?seventy five (75)3Soccer1
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What did Bill James say was a baseball player's most important statistic?On base percentage3Soccer1
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A love of soccer is often intertwined with a love of what?numbers4Soccer1
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Who wrote that "numbers are incredibly satisfying"?Alex Bellos4Soccer1
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When Stefan went into sports economics, how many academic articles on soccer had been published?
twenty or thirty5Soccer1
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Who is one of the smart men in soccer?Arsene Wenger5Soccer1
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The Red Sox hired which of Bill James's followers?Theo Epstein3Soccer1
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The point of soccer clubs is not to do what?turn a profit5Soccer1
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Where is Stefan from? Simon?London; Paris6Soccer1
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AC Milan's medical outfit found that by studying a player's jump, they could predict the accuracy of an injury by what percentage?
seventy (70)6Soccer1
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What is Phase 1 of the English ritual for World Cups?Certainty that England Will win the World Cup7Soccer2
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What is Phase 2 of the English ritual for World Cups?England Meets a Former Wartime Enemy8Soccer2
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What is Phase 3 of the English ritual for World Cups?
The English conclude that the game turned on one freakish piece of bad luck that could happen only to them
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What is Phase 4 of the English ritual for World Cups?Everyone else cheated9Soccer2
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What is Phase 5 of the English ritual for World Cups?
England is knocked out without getting anywhere near lifting the cup
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When is Phase 1 of the English ritual for World Cups?Pretournament10Soccer2
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When is Phase 2 of the English ritual for World Cups?During the tournament8Soccer2
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What is Phase 6 of the English ritual for World Cups?Normal Life resumes8Soccer2
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What is Phase 7 of the English ritual for World Cups?A scapegoat is found11Soccer2
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What is Phase 8 of the English ritual for World Cups?
England enters the next World Cup thinking it will win it all
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Who is the obscure, bucktoothed Brazilian kid?Ronaldinho9Soccer2
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Which two crowds deliberately wasted time in 1950 and 1970 while England was losing?Brazil and Mexico9Soccer2
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England's 1970 goalkeeper had an upset stomach before the game, but was okay the morning of the game. Where was he discovered later?
On the toilet with everything "coming out both ends."
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Every referee opposes what team?England9Soccer2
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Since 1970, which three countries have gotten as close as England to winning a World Cup?Bulgaria, Sweden, and Poland10Soccer2
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What did Jerry Seinfeld consider the second place finisher?Greatest loser10Soccer2
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Who was the scapegoat for England's loss in 1998 against Argentina?David Beckham11Soccer2
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Who was the scapegoat for England's loss in 2006 against Brazil?Cristiano Ronaldo11Soccer2
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English defeats to what team are considered acceptable?Brazil11Soccer2
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From 1980-2001, where did England's win percentage rank in the world?tenth12Soccer2
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From 1970 to 2007, England played 411 matches. How did they finish them?217 wins, 120 ties, and 74 losses12Soccer2
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England should qualify for fewer than how many of the tournaments they enter?two-thirds (2/3)13Soccer2
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In the EPL from 2007-2008, Englishmen accounted for what percentage of minutes played?thirty-seven (37)15Soccer2
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What is the classic problem of import substitution?It protects bad producers15Soccer2
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When you limit your talent pool, you limit what?the development of skills18Soccer2
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What did David Batty's father do for a living?Sanitation worker19Soccer2
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What did Emile Heskey's father do for a living?security worker at nightclub19Soccer2
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Which 5 countries make up the "core" of the new soccer network?West Germany, France, Italy, Holland, & Belgium28Soccer2
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What three important factors affect the outcome in international matches
Population size, national income, and experience in international soccer
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In terms of goal differential, how much is home-field advantage worth?2/3 of a goal35Soccer2
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Which 7 countries are considered the giants of international soccer?
Brazil, France, West Germany, England, Italy, Germany (United), and Argentina
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A taste for blondes is an example of what?Availability heuristic53Soccer3
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Who is the master of trade today, and what degree does he hold?Wenger, economic sciences57Soccer3
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European clubs are willing to pay millions for foreign players, but unwilling to spend thousands on what?
Helping them settle into their new homes59Soccer3
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Why don't English clubs buy Brazilian players?
don't speak English, don't like cold weather, and don't trust the core traditions
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English clubs traditionally buy which nationality?Scandinavians62Soccer3
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Who was the talented young black forward playing for Watford? Who did Milan confuse him with?John Barnes; Luther Blissett47Soccer3
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How much did AC Milan sell Luthe Blisset to Watford for?just over half the sume it paid for him47Soccer3
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When good soccer players move, the new club usually pays what to the old club?transfer fee47Soccer3
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Each year, European soccer clubs pay each other how much in transfer fees?Between $1 billion and $2 billion48Soccer3
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What is the record transfer fee? Who paid it? Which player?$130 million, Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo48Soccer3
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What is the record transfer fee? Who received it? What year?$130 million, Manchester United, 200948Soccer3
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The amount that any club spends on transfer fees bear little relationship to what?Where it finishes in the league48Soccer3
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What helps a club much more than spectacular transfers?high wages48Soccer3
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Any inefficient market is an opportunity for who?somebody50Soccer3
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If most clubs are wasting most of their transfer money, then a club that spends wisely will do what?
outperform50Soccer3
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When is the worst time to buy a player?In the summer after a big tournament51Soccer3
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Buy a big name is a way of saying what?Yes, we are a big club52Soccer3
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Buying big names is how European clubs keep their customers satisfied during when?3-month summer shutdown52Soccer3
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Which nationality is the most fashionable in the transfer market?Brazilian52Soccer3
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When you're scanning a field of 22 similar-looking players, who tends stands out?the blonds53Soccer3
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Bung is British slang for what?an illegal under-the-table payment54Soccer3
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Nicolas Anelka is the sort of expatriate who really needs what?a relocation consultant60Soccer3
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Lyon, France is about the size of what US city?Oakland64Soccer3
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What did the les Gones' fans banner tell supporters of Saint-Etaienne?
We invented cinema when your fathers were dying in the mines
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The French find the notion of a well-run soccer club humorless, and what?practically American66Soccer3
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