Nerves of Steel? Stress, Work Performance and Elite Athletes
AbstractThere is a notable shortage of empirical research directed at measuring the magnitude and direction of stress effects on performance in a controlled environment. One reason for this is the inherent difficulties in identifying and isolating direct performance measures for individuals. Additionally most traditional work environments contain a multitude of exogenous factors impacting individual performance, but controlling for all such factors is generally unfeasible (omitted variable bias). Moreover, instead of asking individuals about their self-reported stress levels we observe workers’ behavior in situations that can be classified as stressful. For this reason we have stepped outside the traditional workplace in an attempt to gain greater controllability of these factors using the sports environment as our experimental space. We empirically investigate the relationship between stress and performance, in an extreme pressure situation (football penalty kicks) in a winner take all sporting environment (FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Cup competitions). Specifically, we examine all the penalty shootouts between 1976 and 2008 covering in total 16 events. The results indicate that extreme stressors can have a positive or negative impact on individuals’ performance. On the other hand, more commonly experienced stressors do not affect professionals’ performances.
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 School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 251.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 24 Sep 2009
Date of revision: 24 Sep 2009
Performance; Stressors; Sport; Behavioural Economics; Work-related stress;
Other versions of this item:
- David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Nerves of steel? Stress, work performance and elite athletes," Applied Economics, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 44(19), pages 2423-2435, July.
- David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2009. "Nerves of Steel? Stress, Work Performance and Elite Athletes," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-22, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2009-09-26 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2009-09-26 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-SOC-2009-09-26 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-SPO-2009-09-26 (Sports & Economics)
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.:
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2008.
"Field Experiments in Economics: The Past, The Present, and The Future,"
NBER Working Papers
14356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
- Steven Levitt & John List, 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," Artefactual Field Experiments 00079, The Field Experiments Website.
- Christopher F Baum, 2006. "An Introduction to Modern Econometrics using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, number imeus, December.
- Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "The Sports Business as a Labor Market Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
- Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, 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.
- Benno Torgler, 2004. "The Economics of the FIFA Football Worldcup," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 287-300, 05.
- Benno Torgler, 2006. "Historical Excellence' in Soccer World Cup Tournaments: Empirical Evidence with Data from 1930 to 2002," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 2(1), pages 101-117, Aprile.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Angela Fletcher).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.