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Referee Bias

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  • Thomas Dohmen
  • Jan Sauermann

Abstract

This paper surveys the empirical literature on the behavior of referees in professional football and other sports. Referees are typically appointed by a principal to be impartial, especially when unbiased referee judgment is vital for the accomplishment of the principal's objective. Answering whether referees make biased decisions and understanding the causes that lead referees to digress from their principal duty of impartiality is therefore fundamental from a theoretical point of view. At the same time, assessing the prevalence and origin of referee bias is germane to various domains of life. Referee bias is particularly relevant in sports, where partial decision-making can determine competition outcomes, which can have strong repercussions on athletes' careers and supporters' well-being.
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Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Dohmen & Jan Sauermann, 2016. "Referee Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 679-695, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:30:y:2016:i:4:p:679-695
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/joes.2016.30.issue-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Daniel L., 2016. "Priming Ideology: Why Presidential Elections Affect U.S. Judges," TSE Working Papers 16-681, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Aug 2016.
    2. Krumer, Alex & Lechner, Michael, 2016. "Midweek Effect on Performance: Evidence from the German Soccer Bundesliga," Economics Working Paper Series 1609, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    3. repec:eee:labeco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:189-199 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Harb-Wu, Ken & Krumer, Alex, 2017. "Choking Under Pressure in Front of a Supportive Audience: Evidence from Professional Biathlon," Economics Working Paper Series 1717, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    6. Mario Lackner & Hendrik Sonnabend, 2017. "Coping with advantageous inequity - Field evidence from professional penalty kicking," Economics working papers 2017-21, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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