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Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: New Evidence from Randomized Natural Experiments

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  • Martin G. Kocher

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Munich, D-80539 Munich, Germany; and Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden)

  • Marc V. Lenz

    ()
    (Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia, E-28001 Madrid, Spain)

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()
    (Department of Public Finance, University of Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria; and Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden)

Abstract

Dynamic competitive settings may create psychological pressure when feedback about the performance of competitors is provided before the end of the competition. Such psychological pressure could produce a first-mover advantage, despite a priori equal winning probabilities. Using data from a randomized natural experiment--penalty shootouts in soccer--we reexamine evidence by Apesteguia and Palacios-Huerta [Apesteguia J, Palacios-Huerta I (2010) Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment. Amer. Econom. Rev . 100(5):2548-2564]. They report a 21-percentage-point advantage for first movers over second movers in terms of winning probabilities. Extending their sample of 129 shootouts to 540, we fail to detect any significant first-mover advantage. Our results are fully consistent with recent evidence from other sports contests. This paper was accepted by Teck Ho, behavioral economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 58 (2012)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1585-1591

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:8:p:1585-1591

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Keywords: tournament; first-mover advantage; psychological pressure; field experiment; soccer; penalty shootouts;

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Francesco Feri & Alessandro Innocenti & Paolo Pin, 2012. "Is There Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments?," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 044, University of Siena.
  3. Godlonton, Susan, 2014. "Employment risk and job-seeker performance:," IFPRI discussion papers 1332, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Morgulev, Elia & Azar, Ofer H. & Lidor, Ronnie & Sabag, Eran & Bar-Eli, Michael, 2014. "Deception and decision making in professional basketball: Is it beneficial to flop?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 108-118.
  5. Björn Bartling & Leif Brandes & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Expectations as reference points: field evidence from experienced subjects in a competitive, high-stakes environment," ECON - Working Papers 073, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Qiang Fu & Changxia Ke & Fangfang Tan, 2013. ""Success breeds success" or "Pride goes before a fall"? Teams and Individuals in Best-of-Three Contests," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2013-06, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

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