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Behavior under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias

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  • Per Pettersson-Lidbom
  • Mikael Priks

Abstract

This paper studies how social pressure affects the behavior of soccer referees. We make use of an attractive source of exogenous variation in the number of spectators at matches. Due to recent hooligan violence, the Italian government has implemented a regulation that forces some soccer teams to temporarily play home matches in empty stadiums. We find that referees punish away players more harshly and home players more lightly when the games are played in front of spectators compared to when they are not. This indicates that referees exhibit home bias caused by social pressure from the spectators.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-04/cesifo1_wp1960.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1960.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1960

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Related research

Keywords: social pressure; bias; incentives; personnel economics; natural experiment;

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References

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  1. Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," NBER Working Papers 13206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  3. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2004. "Favoritism of agents - The case of referees' home bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 461-469, August.
  5. Dohmen, Thomas, 2005. "Social Pressure Influences Decisions of Individuals: Evidence from the Behavior of Football Referees," IZA Discussion Papers 1595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2008. "Are subjective evaluations biased by social factors or connections? An econometric analysis of soccer referee decisions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 123-140, August.
  7. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," Working Papers 2001-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. Thomas J. Dohmen, 2008. "The Influence Of Social Forces: Evidence From The Behavior Of Football Referees," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 411-424, 07.
  9. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andrés Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Gónzalez-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola Wanden-Berghe, 2011. "Referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football," Working Papers 1119, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  2. Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson, 2008. "The influence of social pressure and nationality on individual decisions: evidence from the behaviour of referees," Working Papers 2008/14, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division.
  3. J. Atsu Amegashie & Bazoumana Ouattara & Eric Strobl, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," Working Papers 0702, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  4. Mikael Priks, 2013. "Singin' in the Rain: A Study of Social Pressure on the Soccer Field," CESifo Working Paper Series 4481, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Agustín Casas & Yarine Fawaz, 2013. "Altitude as handicap in rank-order football tournaments," Economics Working Papers we1316, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  6. Katherine G. Yewell & Steven B. Caudill & Franklin G. Mixon, Jr., 2014. "Referee Bias and Stoppage Time in Major League Soccer: A Partially Adaptive Approach," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, February.
  7. 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 03/11, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).

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