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Decision Making and Underperformance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from the National Hockey League

Author

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  • Gueorgui I. Kolev
  • Gonçalo Pina
  • Federico Todeschini

Abstract

type="main"> We find evidence of suboptimal decisions leading to underperformance in a policy experiment where two teams of professionals compete in a tournament (National Hockey League shootout) performing a task (penalty shot) sequentially. Before an exogenous policy change, home teams had to perform the task second in the sequence. After the policy change, home teams were given the choice to lead or to follow in the sequence. Home teams should move first only when this is optimal, and this should lead them to winning the tournament more often. We find that after given the choice, home teams most of the time choose to move first in the sequence, and this results in a lower winning frequency for them. Contrary to what economic theory would predict, we find that an expanded choice set can lead to worse outcomes for the agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Gueorgui I. Kolev & Gonçalo Pina & Federico Todeschini, 2015. "Decision Making and Underperformance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from the National Hockey League," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 65-80, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:68:y:2015:i:1:p:65-80
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/kykl.12073
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jose Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2010. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2548-2564, December.
    2. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    3. Martin G. Kocher & Marc V. Lenz & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: New Evidence from Randomized Natural Experiments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1585-1591, August.
    4. Young Park & Luís Santos-Pinto, 2010. "Overconfidence in tournaments: evidence from the field," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 143-166, July.
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    Citations

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    1. Arrondel, Luc & Duhautois, Richard & Laslier, Jean-François, 2019. "Decision under psychological pressure: The shooter's anxiety at the penalty kick," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 22-35.
    2. Asier Minondo, 2017. "Fundamental Versus Granular Comparative Advantage: An Analysis Using Chess Data," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 425-455, August.
    3. Hickman, Daniel C. & Metz, Neil E., 2015. "The impact of pressure on performance: Evidence from the PGA TOUR," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 319-330.
    4. Florian Lindner, 2017. "Choking under pressure of top performers: Evidence from biathlon competitions," Working Papers 2017-24, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    5. Mark Kassis & Sascha L. Schmidt & Dominik Schreyer & Matthias Sutter, 2020. "Psychological pressure and the right to determine the moves in dynamic tournaments – Evidence from a natural field experiment," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 024, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    6. Wei Gu & Thomas L. Saaty & Rozann Whitaker, 2016. "Expert System for Ice Hockey Game Prediction: Data Mining with Human Judgment," International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making (IJITDM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(04), pages 763-789, July.
    7. Morgulev, Elia & Azar, Ofer H. & Galily, Yair & Bar-Eli, Michael, 2020. "The role of initial success in competition: An analysis of early lead effects in NBA overtimes," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    8. Pina, Gonçalo, 2019. "Task scheduling and performance: Evidence from professional surf tournaments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 75(PB).
    9. Brady, Ryan R. & Insler, Michael A., 2019. "Order of play advantage in sequential tournaments: Evidence from randomized settings in professional golf," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 79-92.
    10. Bucciol, Alessandro & Castagnetti, Alessandro, 2020. "Choking under pressure in archery," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    11. Christoph Buehren & Lisa Traeger, 2020. "The Impact of Psychological Pressure and Psychological Traits on Performance – Experimental Evidence of Penalties in Handball," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202043, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Bühren, Christoph & Steinberg, Philip J., 2019. "The impact of psychological traits on performance in sequential tournaments: Evidence from a tennis field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 12-29.
    13. Bühren, Christoph & Kadriu, Valon, 2020. "The fairness of long and short ABBA-sequences: A basketball free-throw field experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 89(C).

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