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Are football referees really biased and inconsistent?: evidence on the incidence of disciplinary sanction in the English Premier League

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  • Peter Dawson
  • Stephen Dobson
  • John Goddard
  • John Wilson

Abstract

The paper presents a statistical analysis of patterns in the incidence of disciplinary sanction (yellow and red cards) that were taken against players in the English Premier League over the period 1996-2003. Several questions concerning sources of inconsistency and bias in refereeing standards are examined. Evidence is found to support a time consistency hypothesis, that the average incidence of disciplinary sanction is predominantly stable over time. However, a refereeing consistency hypothesis, that the incidence of disciplinary sanction does not vary between referees, is rejected. The tendency for away teams to incur more disciplinary points than home teams cannot be attributed to the home advantage effect on match results and appears to be due to a refereeing bias favouring the home team. Copyright 2007 Royal Statistical Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society).

Volume (Year): 170 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 231-250

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:170:y:2007:i:1:p:231-250

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Cited by:
  1. Dawson, Peter & Dobson, Stephen, 2010. "The influence of social pressure and nationality on individual decisions: Evidence from the behaviour of referees," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-191, April.
  2. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 2011. "Disciplinary sanctions in English Premiership Football: Is there a racial dimension?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 360-370, June.
  3. Page, Katie & Page, Lionel, 2010. "Alone against the crowd: Individual differences in referees' ability to cope under pressure," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 192-199, April.
  4. Stephen Dobson & John Goddard & Frank Stahler, 2008. "Effort levels in contests: an empirical application of the Tullock model," Working Papers, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division 2008/9, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division.
  5. Caruso, Raul & Di Domizio, Marco, 2013. "International hostility and aggressiveness on the soccer pitch Evidence from European Championships and World Cups for the period 2000-2012," MPRA Paper 50099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Bryson, Alex & Buraimo, Babatunde & Simmons, Rob, 2011. "Do salaries improve worker performance?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 424-433, August.
  7. Frieling, Julius & Pohlkamp, Stefanie & Stöver, Jana & Vöpel, Henning, 2013. "Suarez und die "Hand Gottes": Wie fair ist Fußball?," HWWI Policy Papers 80, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  8. Roberto Antonietti, 2008. "Il ruolo economico dell’arbitro di calcio: una rassegna della letteratura e alcune questioni aperte," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 4(3), pages 75-103, Dicembre.
  9. Edoardo Gallo & Thomas Grund & J. James Reade, 2013. "Punishing the Foreigner: Implicit Discrimination in the Premier League Based on Oppositional Identity," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(1), pages 136-156, 02.
  10. Raul Caruso & Marco Di Domizio, 2013. "Allo Stadio Come Alla Guerra? Ostilità Internazionale E Aggressività Sul Campo Di Calcio," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 9(2), pages 127-142, settembre.
  11. repec:lan:wpaper:3946 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco González-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola, 2011. "The importance of time in referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football," FEG Working Paper Series, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada) 03/11, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
  13. Stephen Dobson & John Goddard, 2008. "Strategic Behaviour and Risk Taking in Football," Working Papers, University of Crete, Department of Economics 0805, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  14. P. Dorian Owen, 2013. "Measurement of Competitive Balance and Uncertainty of Outcome," Working Papers, University of Otago, Department of Economics 1311, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2013.
  15. Seckin, Aylin & Pollard, Richard, 2007. "Home advantage in Turkish professional soccer," MPRA Paper 14323, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
  16. Andrés Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Gónzalez-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola Wanden-Berghe, 2011. "Referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football," Working Papers, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia 1119, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.

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