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Favouritism and Financial Incentives: A Natural Experiment

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  • NEIL RICKMAN
  • ROBERT WITT

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Rickman & Robert Witt, 2008. "Favouritism and Financial Incentives: A Natural Experiment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 296-309, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:75:y:2008:i:298:p:296-309
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2007.00605.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Dawson, 2014. "Refereeing and infringement of the rules," Chapters, in: John Goddard & Peter Sloane (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 24, pages 401-418, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Roberto Antonietti, 2008. "Il ruolo economico dell’arbitro di calcio: una rassegna della letteratura e alcune questioni aperte," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 4(3), pages 75-103, Dicembre.
    3. 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.
    4. Andrea Albanese & Stijn Baert & Olivier Verstraeten, 2020. "Twelve eyes see more than eight. Referee bias and the introduction of additional assistant referees in soccer," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(2), pages 1-15, February.
    5. repec:lan:wpaper:3661 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Donna Harris & Benedikt Herrmann & Andreas Kontoleon, 2009. "`Two's Company, Three's a Group' The impact of group identity and group size on in-group favouritism," Discussion Papers 2009-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    7. Thomas Dohmen & Jan Sauermann, 2016. "Referee Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 679-695, September.
    8. 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).
    9. Bryson, Alex & Buraimo, Babatunde & Simmons, Rob, 2011. "Do salaries improve worker performance?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 424-433, August.
    10. Babatunde Buraimo & David Forrest & Robert Simmons, 2007. "The Twelfth Man? Refereeing Bias in English and German Soccer," Working Papers 0707, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    11. 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.
    12. Francesc Trillas Jané, 2016. "Behavioral Regulatory Agencies," Working Papers wpdea1606, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    13. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 2016. "Disciplinary Sanction and Social Pressure in English Premiership Soccer," Working Paper Series 08816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    14. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 2016. "Disciplinary Sanction and Social Pressure in English Premiership Soccer," Working Paper Series 8816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    15. Shujun Ding & Philip Beaulieu, 2011. "The Role of Financial Incentives in Balanced Scorecard‐Based Performance Evaluations: Correcting Mood Congruency Biases," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 1223-1247, December.
    16. Babatunde Buraimo & David Forrest & Robert Simmons, 2010. "The 12th man?: refereeing bias in English and German soccer," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 173(2), pages 431-449, April.
    17. Christian Deutscher & Eugen Dimant & Brad R. Humphreys, 2017. "Match Fixing and Sports Betting in Football: Empirical Evidence from the German Bundesliga," Working Papers 17-01, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    18. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 2013. "Red cards, referee home bias and social pressure: evidence from English Premiership Soccer," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 710-714, May.
    19. Dey, Oindrila & Banerjee, Swapnendu, 2013. "Status, incentives and random favouritism," MPRA Paper 49188, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Dey, Oindrila & Banerjee, Swapnendu, 2015. "Endogenous favouritism with status incentives: A model of optimum inefficiency," MPRA Paper 62828, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 2011. "Disciplinary sanctions in English Premiership Football: Is there a racial dimension?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 360-370, June.
    22. Juan Mendoza & Andrés Rosas, 2013. "Referee Bias in Professional Soccer: Evidence from Colombia," Vniversitas Económica 011059, Universidad Javeriana - Bogotá.
    23. 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.
    24. Andrews, Matt & Harrington, Peter, 2016. "Off Pitch: Football's Financial Integrity Weaknesses, and How to Strengthen Them," Working Paper Series 16-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    25. repec:lan:wpaper:3946 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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