Do professionals choke under pressure?
AbstractHigh rewards or the threat of severe punishment do not only provide incentives to exert high levels of effort but also create pressure. Such pressure can cause paradoxical performance effects, namely performance decrements despite strong incentives and high motivation. By analyzing the performance of professional football players on a well-defined task, namely to score on a penalty kick, the paper provides empirical evidence for the existence of such detrimental incentive effects. Two pressure variables are considered in particular: (1) the importance of success and (2) the presence of spectators. There are plenty of situations in which pressure arises in the workplace. Knowing how individuals perform under pressure conditions is crucial for labor economists because it has implications for the design of the workplace and the design of incentive schemes.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Maastricht University in its series Open Access publications from Maastricht University with number urn:nbn:nl:ui:27-18491.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of economic behavior & organization (2008) v.65, p.636-653
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/Home.htm
Other versions of this item:
- M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000.
"Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
- Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
- Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
- Frey, Bruno S & Jegen, Reto, 2001. " Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
- Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003.
"Professionals Play Minimax,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 395-415.
- David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2003. "The Economics of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 9904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990.
"Peer Pressure and Partnerships,"
90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
- 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).
- Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009.
"Large Stakes and Big Mistakes,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
- 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.).
- Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
- Edward P. Lazear, 2000.
"Performance Pay and Productivity,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
- Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2006.
"Clean Evidence on Peer Effects,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 39-58, January.
- Bruce Shearer, 2004. "Piece Rates, Fixed Wages and Incentives: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 513-534, 04.
- P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
- Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, .
"Clean Evidence on Peer Pressure,"
IEW - Working Papers
144, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Falk, Armin & Ichino, Andrea, 2003. "Clean Evidence on Peer Pressure," CEPR Discussion Papers 3834, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2003. "Clean evidence on peer pressure," Natural Field Experiments 00239, The Field Experiments Website.
- Falk, Armin & Ichino, Andrea, 2003. "Clean Evidence on Peer Pressure," IZA Discussion Papers 732, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Harry J. Paarsch & Bruce S. Shearer, 1999. "The Response of Worker Effort to Piece Rates: Evidence from the British Columbia Tree-Planting Industry," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 643-667.
- Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004.
"Gender and competition at a young age,"
Framed Field Experiments
00151, The Field Experiments Website.
- Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 1999. "Social relations and cooperation in organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-25, January.
- George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- How bonuses backfire
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-09-19 14:06:31
- Does fear work?
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-07-31 13:55:23
- Does Fear of Job Loss Work?
by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2011-08-03 07:33:00
- Do Professionals Choke Under Pressure?
by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-08-22 16:17:36
- The left & shareholder activism
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-05-08 13:51:01
- Tor Eriksson & Anders Poulsen & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2009.
"Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence,"
- Eriksson, Tor & Poulsen, Anders & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2008. "Feedback and Incentives: Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 3440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Tor Eriksson & Anders Poulsen & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Feedback and Incentives : Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0812, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
- Tor Eriksson & Anders Poulsen & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2008. "Feedback and Incentives : Experimental Evidence," Post-Print halshs-00276396, HAL.
- 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.
- Björn Bartling & Leif Brandes & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Expectations as Reference Points: Field Evidence from Experienced Subjects in a Competitive, High-Stakes Environment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3830, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bannier, Christina E. & Feess, Eberhard, 2010. "When high-powered incentive contracts reduce performance: choking under pressure as a screening device," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 135, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
- Grichnik, Dietmar & Smeja, Alexander & Welpe, Isabell, 2010. "The importance of being emotional: How do emotions affect entrepreneurial opportunity evaluation and exploitation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 15-29, October.
- Menkhoff, Lukas & Schmeling, Maik & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2008.
"Are all professional investors sophisticated?,"
Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen FakultÃ¤t der Leibniz UniversitÃ¤t Hannover
dp-397, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
- González-Díaz, Julio & Gossner, Olivier & Rogers, Brian W., 2012. "Performing best when it matters most: Evidence from professional tennis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 767-781.
- Paserman, Marco Daniele, 2007.
"Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Players,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6335, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Paserman, Daniele, 2007. "Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 2834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- M. Daniele Paserman, 2010. "Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments? Evidence from Professional Tennis Players," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-047, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Benoît, Jean-Pierre & Dubra, Juan & Moore, Don, 2009.
"Does the Better-Than-Average Effect Show That People Are Overconfident?: Two Experiments,"
44956, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 11 Mar 2013.
- Jean-Pierre Benoit & Juan Dubra & Don Moore, 2013. "Does the better –than- average effect show that people are Overconfident?: two experiments," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1301, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
- René Böheim & Mario Lackner, 2013.
"Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions,"
Economics working papers
2013-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
- Böheim, René & Lackner, Mario, 2013. "Gender and Competition: Evidence from Jumping Competitions," IZA Discussion Papers 7243, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Sanders, Shane & Walia, Bhavneet, 2012. "Shirking and “choking” under incentive-based pressure: A behavioral economic theory of performance production," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 363-366.
- Benoît, Jean-Pierre & Dubra, Juan & Moore, Don, 2009. "Does the Better-Than-Average Effect Show That People Are Overconfident?: An Experiment," MPRA Paper 13168, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Christos Genakos & Mario Pagliero, 2009. "Risk Taking and Performance in Multistage Tournaments: Evidence from Weightlifting Competitions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0928, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- 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.
- Livingston, Jeffrey A., 2012. "The hot hand and the cold hand in professional golf," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 172-184.
- Braga, Breno & Guillén, Diogo, 2012. "Working under pressure: Evidence from the impacts of soccer fans on players’ performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 212-215.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (J.Odekerken).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.