Seasonal Home Advantage in English Professional Football; 1974-2018

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We study seasonal home advantage in English professional football over the period 1974 to 2018. We distinguish between absolute home advantage, enjoyed equally by all teams in a division, and relative home advantage, which differs among teams in the division. We find that absolute home advantage is substantial, ranging from 0.59 to 0.64 in terms of points per game or 0.44 to 0.46 in terms of goal difference. Likewise, clubs differ substantially in the relative home advantage they enjoy. Relative home advantage is positively related to within-team variation in attendance and the use of an artificial pitch. Despite big cross-divisional differences in attendance, absolute home advantage is about the same in all divisions. Finally, there is a substantial decline in absolute home advantage over time that materializes equally across divisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-126
Number of pages20
JournalDe Economist
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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