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Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes

  • Devin G. Pope
  • Maurice E. Schweitzer
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    Although experimental studies have documented systematic decision errors, many leading scholars believe that experience, competition, and large stakes will reliably extinguish biases. We test for the presence of a fundamental bias, loss aversion, in a high-stakes context: professional golfers' performance on the PGA Tour. Golf provides a natural setting to test for loss aversion because golfers are rewarded for the total number of strokes they take during a tournament, yet each individual hole has a salient reference point, par. We analyze over 2.5 million putts using precise laser measurements and find evidence that even the best golfers--including Tiger Woods--show evidence of loss aversion. (JEL D03, D81, L83)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.1.129
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 129-57

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:1:p:129-57
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