Are Subjective Evaluations Biased by Social Factors or Connections? An Econometric Analysis of Soccer Referee Decisions
AbstractMany incentive contracts are based on subjective evaluations and contractual disputes depend on judges’ decisions. However, subjective evaluations raise risks of favouritism and distortions. Sport contests are a fruitful field for testing empirically theories of incentives. In this paper the behaviour of the referees in the Italian soccer (football) league (“Serie A”) is analyzed. Using data on injury (or extra) time subjectively assigned by the referee at the end of the match and controlling for factors which may influence it (players substitutions, yellow and red cards, penalty kicks, etc.), we show that referees are biased in favour of home team, in that injury time is significantly greater if home teams are losing. The refereeing bias increases greatly when there is no running track in the stadium and the crowd is close to the pitch. Following the 2006 “Serie A” scandal we test whether favouritism emerges towards teams suspected of connections with referees finding that these teams obtain favourable decisions. Social pressure by the crowd attending the match however appears to be the main cause of favouritism.
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 University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15819.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Favoritism; Subjective evaluation; Sport economics; Soccer; Referee bias;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
- M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - General
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.:
- Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993.
"Favoritism in Organizations,"
NBER Working Papers
4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.).
- Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2004.
"Favoritism of agents - The case of referees' home bias,"
Munich Reprints in Economics
18180, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher, . "Favoritism of agents – The case of referees’ home bias," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-28, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Milgrom, Paul R., 1987.
"employment contracts, influence activities and efficient organization design,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt6pf6c5j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Milgrom, Paul R, 1988. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities, and Efficient Organization Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 42-60, February.
- Paul R. Milgrom., 1987. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities and Efficient Organization Design," Economics Working Papers 8741, University of California at Berkeley.
- Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios & Canice Prendergast, 2001.
"Favoritism Under Social Pressure,"
NBER Working Papers
8376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990.
"Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-24, December.
- 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.
- Ichino, Andrea & Polo, Michele & Rettore, Enrico, 2003.
"Are judges biased by labor market conditions?,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 913-944, October.
- Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2002.
"Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1594-1605, December.
- Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2000. "Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling," NBER Working Papers 7798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
- Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
- Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
- 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.
- Per Pettersson-Lidbom & Mikael Priks, 2007.
"Behavior under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1960, CESifo Group Munich.
- Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Priks, Mikael, 2010. "Behavior under social pressure: Empty Italian stadiums and referee bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 212-214, August.
- Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson, 2009.
"The Influence of Social Pressure and Nationality on Individual Decisions: Evidence from the Behaviour of Referees,"
NCER Working Paper Series
46, National Centre for Econometric Research.
- 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, vol. 31(2), pages 181-191, April.
- Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson, 2008. "The Influence of Social Pressure and Nationality on Individual Decisions: Evidence from the Behaviour of Referees," Working Papers 0809, International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists.
- 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.
- 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.
- Juan Mendoza & Andrés Rosas, 2013. "Referee Bias in Professional Soccer: Evidence from Colombia," VNIVERSITAS ECONÃMICA 011059, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
- De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2008. "The Effects of Managerial Turnover: Evidence from Coach Dismissals in Italian Soccer Teams," MPRA Paper 11030, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2013.
"Fatigue and Team Performance in Soccer: Evidence from the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship,"
IZA Discussion Papers
7519, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Vincenzo Scoppa, 2013. "Fatigue And Team Performance In Soccer: Evidence From The Fifa World Cup And The Uefa European Championship," Working Papers 201301, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
- Andres Giraldo & Juan Mendoza & Andrés Rosas & Dayana Tellez, 2013. "Managerial Turnover: Coach Dismissals and Team Performance in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS DE ECONOMÃA 011054, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
- 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).
- Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014.
"Does the Home Advantage Depend on Crowd Support? Evidence from Same-Stadium Derbies,"
IZA Discussion Papers
8105, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2014. "Does The Home Advantage Depend On Crowd Support? Evidence From Same-Stadium Derbies," Working Papers 201402, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.