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The Harder The Task, The Higher The Score: Findings Of A Difficulty Bias

Author

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  • HILLARY N. MORGAN
  • KURT W. ROTTHOFF

Abstract

type="main" xml:lang="en"> Studies have found that going first or last in a sequential order contest leads to a biased outcome, commonly called order bias (or primacy and recency). Studies have also found that judges have a tendency to reward contestants they recognize with additional points, called reference bias. Controlling for known biases, we test for a new type of bias we refer to as “difficulty bias,” which reveals that athletes attempting more difficult routines receive higher execution scores, even when difficulty and execution are judged separately. Despite some identification challenges, we add to the literature by finding strong evidence of a difficulty bias in gymnastics. We also provide generalizations beyond athletics. (JEL L10, L83, D81, J70, Z1)

Suggested Citation

  • Hillary N. Morgan & Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2014. "The Harder The Task, The Higher The Score: Findings Of A Difficulty Bias," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1014-1026, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:52:y:2014:i:3:p:1014-1026
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecin.12074
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2015. "(Not Finding a) Sequential Order Bias in Elite Level Gymnastics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 724-741, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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