Money matters: The impact of prize money on doping behaviour
Westmattelmann D, Sprenger M, Hokamp S, Schewe G
In professional sports, the amounts disbursed in rank-based prize money distributions decline sharply, and differences in performance are extremely small. This disparity may provide a high incentive for doping. Due to the complexity of doping, obtaining meaningful insights on the influence of prize money distribution and the pecuniary value of prize money on doping behaviour of elite athletes using game theory or other approaches has not been possible. The authors perform a computerised social simulation through agent-based modelling to analyse doping behaviour in competitive sport. The results show that the distribution of prize money in particular has an enormous impact on the prevalence of doping. By contrast, the total amount of prize money is less decisive for doping behaviour. Further, doping costs are observed to have only a marginal effect on doping prevalence, depending on the tested prize money distribution and its amount. The simulation results can be used by sports federations and competition organisers who should distribute the prize money more evenly to all athletes to reduce doping.
Agent-based modelling; Doping; Prize money distribution; Competitive sport; Social simulation