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Collective Decision-making: FIFA from the Perspective of Public Choice

  • Florian Follert EMAIL logo , Lukas Richau , Eike Emrich and Christian Pierdzioch
From the journal The Economists’ Voice


Various scandals have shaken public confidence in football's global governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). It is evident that decision-making within such a collective provides incentives for corruption. We apply the Buchanan-Tullock model that is known from Public Choice theory to study collective decision-making within FIFA. On the basis of this theoretical model, we develop specific proposals that can contribute to combating corruption. Three core aspects are discussed: the selection of the World Cup host, transparency in the allocation of budgets, and clear guidelines for FIFA officials and bodies with regard to their rights and accountability. Our insights can contribute to a better understanding of collective decision making in heterogenous groups.

Corresponding author: Florian Follert, Saarland University, Faculty of Empirical Human Sciences and Economics, Saarbrücken, Germany, E-mail:


We thank an anonymous reviewer for valuable comments.


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Received: 2019-10-24
Accepted: 2020-03-23
Published Online: 2020-04-24

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