Dmitry Dagaev, Alex Suzdaltsev, Sunday, September 13, 2015

Designing a tournament to keep each game or round as exciting as possible for spectators is, as you might imagine, complex and nuanced. Yet, most sporting tournaments use a basic ‘knock-out’ model, and have done for years. This column argues that tournament organisers ought to be more creative, and illustrates a model and examples suggesting that tournament organisers should not confine themselves to tradition. Choosing the proper scheme is a hard but feasible goal for tournament designers.

Nauro F. Campos, Friday, June 13, 2014

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is upon us. This column argues that there will be plenty of partying, but also plenty of protests fuelled by the gross mismanagement and limited economic benefits from hosting the Cup. Stadia may be ready, but much planned infrastructure has already been abandoned. Indeed, rent-seeking may be one reason nations bid for the Cup. Since the returns to transportation infrastructure are higher in poor countries, the international community should work to stamp out corruption so that poor countries can continue to host mega-events like the World Cup.

Rob Simmons, Monday, September 3, 2012

As the new football season kicks off, Europe’s top clubs are preparing to abide by UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative, designed to ensure financial discipline and make European football more competitive. But this column argues that the new rules could end up doing just the opposite.

Jeremy D Goldhaber-Fiebert, Alan M Garber, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Obesity – and its related illnesses – endangers the lives of millions across the world. While healthier, more physically active lifestyles can mitigate this, the question remains of how policymakers can get people to switch from being couch potatoes to keen runner beans. This column presents new evidence suggesting that for many even a nudge may suffice.

Syed Basher, Friday, December 24, 2010

The controversial decision to grant the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar is set to provide the country with billions of dollars of revenue. This column argues that one overlooked consequence will be inflationary pressure and suggests “World Cup bonds”, among other tools, could help Qatar keep price rises in check.