Outcome Uncertainty in Sporting Events
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Outcome Uncertainty in Sporting Events

Winning, Losing and Competitive Balance

Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Kesenne and Brad R. Humphreys

This book examines competitive balance and outcome uncertainty from multiple perspectives. Chapters address the topic in different sports in a range of countries, to help to understand its significance. It provides readers with important new insights into previously unexplored dimensions as well as a rich context for better understanding why fans, teams, and leagues value competitive balance. The book challenges readers to think about the topic in a broad and rigorous way, and in some cases to question widely held beliefs about how outcome uncertainty motivates competitive balance, and how sports fans actually view competitive balance.
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Chapter 4: Game, set, match and loss aversion in tennis

Mikala Lowrance, Jacob Miller and Joshua Price


Loss aversion predicts that individuals adopt strategies that are more risky when losing and less risky when winning. To test this theory, we build upon work that examined a single tennis tournament and found that male and female tennis players exhibit loss aversion differently. Our data consists of matches played in the four Grand Slam events for both male and female professional tennis. Using this data, we fail to find evidence of behaviour consistent with the predictions of loss aversion for both men and women. We conclude with a discussion as to why that might be the case.

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