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Families express a need for information to support people with severe anorexia nervosa.
To examine the impact of the addition of a skills training intervention for caregivers (Experienced Caregivers Helping Others, ECHO) to standard care.
Patients over the age of 12 (mean age 26 years, duration 72 months illness) with a primary diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and their caregivers were recruited from 15 in-patient services in the UK. Families were randomised to ECHO (a book, DVDs and five coaching sessions per caregiver) or treatment as usual. Patient (n=178) and caregiver (n=268) outcomes were measured at discharge and 6 and 12 months after discharge.
Patients with caregivers in the ECHO group had reduced eating disorder psychopathology (EDE-Q) and improved quality of life (WHO-Quol; both effects small) and reduced in-patient bed days (7–12 months post-discharge). Caregivers in the ECHO group had reduced burden (Eating Disorder Symptom Impact Scale, EDSIS), expressed emotion (Family Questionnaire, FQ) and time spent caregiving at 6 months but these effects were diminished at 12 months.
Small but sustained improvements in symptoms and bed use are seen in the intervention group. Moreover, caregivers were less burdened and spent less time providing care. Caregivers had most benefit at 6 months suggesting that booster sessions, perhaps jointly with the patients, may be needed to maintain the effect. Sharing skills and information with caregivers may be an effective way to improve outcomes. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) was registered with Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN06149665.
Genetic resistance to gastrointestinal worms is a complex trait of great importance in both livestock and humans. In order to gain insights into the genetic architecture of this trait, a mixed breed population of sheep was artificially infected with Trichostrongylus colubriformis (n=3326) and then Haemonchus contortus (n=2669) to measure faecal worm egg count (WEC). The population was genotyped with the Illumina OvineSNP50 BeadChip and 48 640 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers passed the quality controls. An independent population of 316 sires of mixed breeds with accurate estimated breeding values for WEC were genotyped for the same SNP to assess the results obtained from the first population. We used principal components from the genomic relationship matrix among genotyped individuals to account for population stratification, and a novel approach to directly account for the sampling error associated with each SNP marker regression. The largest marker effects were estimated to explain an average of 0·48% (T. colubriformis) or 0·08% (H. contortus) of the phenotypic variance in WEC. These effects are small but consistent with results from other complex traits. We also demonstrated that methods which use all markers simultaneously can successfully predict genetic merit for resistance to worms, despite the small effects of individual markers. Correlations of genomic predictions with breeding values of the industry sires reached a maximum of 0·32. We estimate that effective across-breed predictions of genetic merit with multi-breed populations will require an average marker spacing of approximately 10 kbp.
Professional football as a sport has always been inextricably linked to its attributes as a business, but never more so than during the modern era. Complaints are aired regularly in the media and elsewhere that players are overpaid; that the transfer market is out of control; that the whims of wealthy owners are driving many clubs to penury; that exorbitant ticket prices are driving spectators away from football; and that the priorities of television are dictating both the strategic and the operational decisions of football clubs and the sport's organising bodies.
Chapter 6 presents an overview of the historical development of English club football as a business, and analyses its current economic, financial and commercial structure. Section 6.1 describes the competitive structure of the major league and cup tournaments in which English teams participate, and identifies historical trends and patterns in the performance of groups of teams distinguished by characteristics such as geographical location, city size and date of entry into the league. Section 6.2 describes trends in match attendances, and the explanations for changing patterns of attendance that have been proposed by historians, sociologists and economists.
Section 6.3 provides an overview of the profitability or loss-making propensities of English football clubs. The following three sections describe historical and current trends in the main revenue and cost items that appear in a football club's profit and loss account: namely gate revenues, examined in Section 6.4; broadcast revenues, examined in Section 6.5; and expenditure on players' wages and salaries, and transfer expenditure, examined in Section 6.6.
As seen in Chapter 1, the idea that market mechanisms can be relied upon to maintain a reasonable degree of competitive equality among the member teams of a sports league, without the need for extensive regulation of player compensation or mobility by the sport's governing body, was first articulated by Rottenberg (1956). In discussing the economic structure and characteristics of the North American baseball players' labour market, Rottenberg considers the case of two teams located in different towns, one of which has a larger population (or potential market) than the other. Other things being equal the marginal revenue product of a player of a given level of ability is greater with the large-market team than it is with the small-market team. Since the marginal revenue function declines as the quantity of playing talent already held increases, however, it does not pay the large-market team to accumulate the most talented players to the point where complete competitive dominance is achieved.
This argument does not depend upon contractual arrangements or the structure of player compensation. It is valid under free agency, in which case the player may be in a strong position to secure most or all of his marginal revenue product in salary negotiations, since his reservation wage is the salary he could command by signing for another team.
Academic interest in the economics of professional team sports dates back as far as the mid-1950s. Since then, many books and journal articles have been written on the subject. Much of the academic literature originates in the United States (US). In common with trends that are evident throughout the subject discipline of economics, empirical research on the economics of sport has become increasingly sophisticated, both theoretically and in its use of econometric methodology. Papers on the economics of sport now appear regularly in many of the leading economics journals, and most economists would agree that in view of its social, cultural and economic importance, professional sport is a legitimate area of interest for both theoretical and empirical researchers. Indeed, many would argue that the unique configurations of individual and team incentives, and the interactions between cooperative and competitive modes of behaviour that professional team sports generate, make this particularly fertile territory in which to explore the perennial questions about incentives, effort, risk and reward that lie at the heart of all areas of economic inquiry.
This volume makes a contribution to the burgeoning literature on the economics of team sports, by providing a comprehensive survey of research that is focused on professional football. The spectacular recent increase in the size of football's audience is, of course, a strong motivating factor.
The previous chapter has examined the topic of footballers' remuneration. Chapter 8 discusses several other topics concerned with the economics of the professional footballers' labour market. Section 8.1 presents an analysis of patterns of migration, mobility and career development among English club football's regular workforce: the players employed by the ninety-two member-clubs of the Premier League and Football League. The coverage of the analysis extends from the mid-1980s to the late 2000s, a period during which the character of English football has been transformed by the arrival of a large contingent of overseas players. During this period there appears to have been a shift in the overall burden of responsibility for the development of young players away from the smaller English clubs towards their larger counterparts; and some sharp regional disparities have emerged in the prospects for locally born youngsters to become professional footballers.
Patterns of migration by footballers across national borders reflect a wide range of influences, which are reviewed in Section 8.2. An analysis of the employment profile (by country of employment in club football) is presented for the international footballers who participated in the Finals of the 2000 and 2008 European Championships. Despite the England national team having failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 Finals, the English league was the largest single host-country provider of footballers in these Finals, reflecting England's recent ascendancy within Europe as an importer of top-level footballers.
Section 8.3 reviews empirical evidence on racial discrimination in English football and elsewhere.
Previous chapters of this volume have presented an extensive descriptive and empirical analysis of English club football. Chapter 13 widens the perspective, by providing a brief description of the historical development and present-day competitive and commercial structure of football in five other countries from around the world. Sections 13.1 and 13.2 examine two further major Western European footballing powers: France and Germany. Section 13.3 examines Brazil, whose national team's highly skilled attacking style of play in several successive World Cup tournaments, especially during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, gained plaudits and admirers throughout the world. Finally, Sections 13.4 and 13.5 examine Japan and China, two east Asian countries in which attempts were made during the 1990s and 2000s to establish professional football as a popular spectator sport in territories with none of the longstanding traditions of participation and fanaticism that have characterised football in many other countries.
Football was first introduced into France, as in a number of other countries, by travelling British businessmen during the late nineteenth century. The first club was founded in the port city of Le Havre in 1872 by members of shipping and transit companies who wished to play both football and rugby. A number of other multi-sports clubs were formed in the 1870s and 1880s, before clubs devoted exclusively to football began to appear during the 1890s. The first national cup tournament was won by Standard AC in 1894, and an embryonic league competition was won by Club Français in 1896.
Countries compete fiercely for the right to host mega sporting events such as football's World Cup, and the Olympic Games. In order to host a mega event, large volumes of public subsidy are usually required. In this respect, the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics were exceptional, in having been funded primarily from the private sector. Those who advocate the use of public funding to secure and stage a mega event invariably promise a wide range of benefits for host cities and the host nation, including increased employment and per capita income, as well as less tangible social and cultural benefits deriving from an enhanced local or national reputation. Since the economic benefits are the more tangible, these have tended to receive the most attention from academic and non-academic economists. Indeed, bids to host the World Cup have in recent times been ‘sold’ to the public on the basis of extravagant predictions about the large gains in employment and income that can be anticipated if the bid is successful.
In recent decades, academic economists have gained some experience in evaluating the credibility of claims of this kind, due to a remarkable late twentieth-century boom in the construction of sports stadia for major league sports franchises in North America. Crudely speaking, the public sports strategies of many cities are based on offering taxpayer-funded financial subsidies for investment in sports stadium construction or renovation projects, in an attempt to attract or retain major league franchises.
Chapter 4 describes the estimation and application of goals-based and results-based forecasting models for match outcomes in football, recorded in the form of either goals scored and conceded by the two teams, or in the form of ‘win-draw-lose’ match results. Both types of forecasting model are estimated by fitting regression models to past match results data. A diagonal-inflated bivariate Poisson regression is used for the goals-based model, and an ordered probit regression is used for the results-based model. Both models draw on an extensive set of covariates, reflecting past goal-scoring performance and match results over the preceding 24 calendar months, the significance of the match for end-of-season championship, promotion or relegation outcomes, the current involvement of the teams in the FA Cup or European tournaments, the average attendances attracted by both teams, and the geographical distance between the home stadia of the two teams.
Section 4.1 reviews the previous academic literature on modelling the outcomes of football matches. Section 4.2 describes the specification and estimation of a goals-based match results forecasting model. Section 4.3 describes the use of the goals-based model to generate out-of-sample forecasts, in probabilistic form, for either goals or ‘win-draw-lose’ match results. Sections 4.4 and 4.5 describe the estimation and application of a results-based forecasting model. Finally Section 4.6 draws some comparisons between the forecasting performance of the goals-based and results-based models, and between the probabilities generated by these models and a set of implied probabilities derived from the quoted odds (prices) of a selection of high-street and internet bookmakers for fixed-odds betting on match results.
A number of broad trends in league match attendances in English football at the aggregate level are identified in Chapter 6. During the post-Second World War boom, league attendances surged, reaching an all-time high of 41 million in the 1949 season. The boom, however, was relatively short-lived. It was followed by a period of sustained decline that continued, almost uninterrupted, until the 1986 season, when attendances fell to 16.5 million. Subsequently there has been a steady and sustained improvement. By the 2009 season, total attendances had increased to 29.9 million. Undoubtedly, the growth in attendance since the late 1980s understates the growth in demand, because many of the leading clubs are capacity-constrained and could sell volumes of tickets that in some cases would be far in excess of existing stadium capacities.
Chapter 6 also reviewed the academic debate about the causes of the long post-war decline in football attendances, and its recent reversal. Social and demographic change, increasing material affluence, the option to watch football on television rather than in person, crowd misbehaviour, the deteriorating physical state of many of football's stadia, and the dubious quality of the some of the fare on offer on the field of play are among the many factors considered to have contributed to the decline in the popularity of attending live football. More recently, improved facilities in all-seated stadia, together with the near-eradication of the hooligan problem, have helped strengthen football's appeal as a middle-class spectator sport.
Since the early 1960s there has been a series of major institutional reforms to the organisation of the players' labour market in English football, starting with the abolition of the maximum wage in 1961, and culminating in the 1995 European Court of Justice ruling in the Jean-Marc Bosman case. Some of the broader consequences of these changes are obvious and widely recognised. Spiralling salaries, especially for superstar players, are a consequence of the progressive shift towards freedom-of-contract that has been underway throughout this period. Although the chronology and detail of institutional reform varies between countries, the same long-term trend has been evident worldwide.
This chapter examines explanations for the exceptionally high salaries earned by the leading stars in modern-day professional football. Above-inflation increases in players' salaries, especially at the highest level, have been a permanent feature of English football since the abolition of the maximum wage in the early 1960s. Section 7.1 reports some recent data on footballers' compensation, and considers to what extent the standard textbook microeconomic theory of wage or salary determination in labour markets is capable of explaining the patterns that are observed. Section 7.2 argues that scarcity in the supply of the highest talent can only form part of the explanation. Before the introduction of pay-TV, football reached large TV audiences but could not appropriate the full economic value of the service provided to individual audience members. Since the late 1980s, however, this situation has been transformed.
Game theory is the study, by mathematicians, economists and decision scientists, of decision-making in situations of conflict and interdependence. Most games played in real life are complex, with multiple strategies, incomplete information and pay-offs that might not be explicitly specified. By contrast, sports sometimes give rise to situations in which the structure of a ‘game’ (using the term in the technical sense) is simple and clearly defined. Accordingly, some economists have argued that sports such as football, and others, offer a highly promising arena for the empirical investigation of the propositions of game theory.
In football, the ‘game’ between the kicker and the goalkeeper that is played out each time a penalty kick is awarded and taken approximates rather closely to the simple and highly stylised examples typically used to develop the principles of game theory in economics textbooks. The kicker must decide in which direction to shoot and the goalkeeper must decide in which direction to dive. Each decides simultaneously, before knowing the other's selection. The reward structure is zero-sum: either the kicker scores; or a goal is prevented because the goalkeeper saves or the kicker shoots high or wide. Section 5.1 of this chapter examines theoretical and empirical research on the strategic choices of kickers and goalkeepers during those few intense and highly charged moments that elapse between the referee's decision to award a penalty, and its execution.