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Favouritism and Financial Incentives: A Natural Experiment

  • NEIL RICKMAN
  • ROBERT WITT

Principals who exercise favouritism towards certain agents may harm those who are not so favoured. We address this issue in the context of a natural experiment from English soccer. We study the effects of professional referees on a common measure of referee bias: length of injury time in close matches. We find that referees exercised a degree of favouritism prior to professionalism but not afterwards, having controlled for selection and soccer-wide effects. We also discuss the suitability of the variable that we, and others, use to measure favouritism, noting that alternative interpretations may be possible. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2007.00605.x
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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
Issue (Month): 298 (05)
Pages: 296-309

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:75:y:2008:i:298:p:296-309
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  1. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
  2. 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.
  3. Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993. "Favoritism in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," Working Papers 2001-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Naegelen, Florence & Mougeot, Michel, 1998. "Discriminatory public procurement policy and cost reduction incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 349-367, March.
  6. Zantman, Wilfried, 2002. " Constitutional Design and Regional Favoritism," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(1), pages 71-93.
  7. M. Grubb, 2003. "Editorial," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 189-190, September.
  8. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  9. Gray, Alastair & Rickman, Neil & Fenn, Paul, 1999. "Professional Autonomy and the Cost of Legal Aid," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 545-58, July.
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