Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Mark West of the University of Michigan Law School has a fascinating new paper out called "Legal Determinants of World Cup Success." In this groundbreaking study, West takes an economic model used by scholars to analyze the success of corporate law in various countries, and applies it to the prediction of soccer victories.

Here's how it works: Look at how many points each country has in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World ranking system (a system for ranking countries' soccer teams). Then create a regression equation in which the variables are 1) Professional (number of soccer professionals per capita in a given country, 2) Origin of commercial law (English, French, German, or Scandinavian), 3) Rule of law (a ranking of "law and order" in any given country), and 4) Anti-director rights (an index measuring the power of shareholders to govern corporations). Then run the regression and see which variables affect soccer success.

The findings are surprising: "[G]ood law, and especially French law, leads to good soccer." West's explanation? "Perhaps teams from countries with systems based on the French model (such as 1998 champion France and 2002 champion Brazil) perform well due to the remaining vestiges of the Napoleonic Code that somehow remove discretion from coaches and managers in the same manner that that civil law system curtails judicial activism. Or maybe -- just maybe -- some other forces are at work."

Just maybe.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home