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Social Pressure Influences Decisions of Individuals: Evidence from the Behavior of Football Referees

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  • Dohmen, Thomas

    ()
    (University of Bonn)

Abstract

Analyzing the neutrality of referees during twelve German premier league (1st Bundesliga) football seasons, this paper documents evidence that social forces influence agents' preferences and decisions. Those, who are appointed to be impartial, tend to favor the home team as they systematically award more injury time in close matches when the home team is behind. Referees also tend to favor the home team in decisions to award goals and penalty kicks. The composition of the crowd affects the size and the direction of the bias. The intensity of social pressure as measured by the crowd's proximity to the field determines how strongly referees' decisions are influenced. Not all agents are, however, affected to the same degree by social pressure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1595.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1595

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Related research

Keywords: principal-agent relationship; favoritism; personnel economics;

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References

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  1. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," Working Papers, Brown University, Department of Economics 2001-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993. "Favoritism in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2000. "Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling," NBER Working Papers 7798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Dohmen, Thomas, 2003. "In Support of the Supporters? Do Social Forces Shape Decisions of the Impartial?," IZA Discussion Papers 755, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2003. "The Economics of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 9904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Thomas J. Dohmen, 2010. "Do Professionals Choke Under Pressure?," Working Papers id:2742, eSocialSciences.
  2. Marco Caliendo & Dubravko Radic, 2006. "Ten Do It Better, Do They?: An Empirical Analysis of an Old Football Myth," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 592, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Babatunde Buraimo & David Forrest & Robert Simmons, 2007. "The Twelfth Man? Refereeing Bias in English and German Soccer," Working Papers, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists 0707, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  4. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2008. "Are subjective evaluations biased by social factors or connections? An econometric analysis of soccer referee decisions," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 123-140, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Per Pettersson-Lidbom & Mikael Priks, 2007. "Behavior under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias," CESifo Working Paper Series 1960, CESifo Group Munich.

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