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Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes

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  • Devin G. Pope
  • Maurice E. Schweitzer
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    Abstract

    Although experimental studies have documented systematic decision errors, many leading scholars believe that experience, competition, and large stakes will reliably extinguish biases. We test for the presence of a fundamental bias, loss aversion, in a high-stakes context: professional golfers' performance on the PGA Tour. Golf provides a natural setting to test for loss aversion because golfers are rewarded for the total number of strokes they take during a tournament, yet each individual hole has a salient reference point, par. We analyze over 2.5 million putts using precise laser measurements and find evidence that even the best golfers--including Tiger Woods--show evidence of loss aversion. (JEL D03, D81, L83)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 129-57

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:129-57

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    Cited by:
    1. Kniffin, Kevin M. & Mihalek, Vince, 2014. "Within-series momentum in hockey: No returns for running up the score," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 400-402.
    2. Engström, Per & Nordblom, Katarina & Ohlsson, Henry & Persson, Annika, 2011. "Loss evasion and tax aversion," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2011:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. Doran, Kirk, 2014. "Are long-term wage elasticities of labor supply more negative than short-term ones?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 208-210.
    4. Zakaria Babutsidze, 2012. "If you love it I'll probably hate it : local interaction among consumers of information goods," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-24, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    5. Igan, Deniz & Pinheiro, Marcelo & Smith, John, 2012. "Racial biases and market outcomes: "White men can't jump," but would you bet on it?," MPRA Paper 36069, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2013. "Leading-effect vs. Risk-taking in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Real-life Randomized Experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 15452, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    7. Chang, Tom & Gross, Tal, 2014. "How many pears would a pear packer pack if a pear packer could pack pears at quasi-exogenously varying piece rates?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-17.
    8. Quang Nguyen, 2011. "Does nurture matter: Theory and experimental investigation on the effect of working environment on risk and time preferences," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 245-270, December.
    9. Pirschel, Inske & Ahrens, Steffen & Snower, Dennis, 2013. "Loss Averse Consumers: An Alternative Theory of Price Adjustment," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79793, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Eyal Peer & Lidor Solomon, 2012. "Professionally biased: Misestimations of driving speed, journey time and time-savings among taxi and car drivers," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(2), pages 165-172, March.

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