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Favoritism of agents - The case of referees' home bias

  • Sutter, Matthias
  • Kocher, Martin G.

We study the behavior of football (soccer) referees in the German Bundesliga. Referees are requested to act as impartial agents. However, they may allocate benefits and rewards in a biased way. Agency theory has long neglected this possible form of malfeasance of economic agents, but has rather concentrated on agents exerting suboptimal effort levels. Favoritism or biased behavior of referees can be investigated by examining their decisions on awarding penalties or extra time at the end of a football match. We can confirm a systematic home bias of referees.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 25 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 461-469

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:25:y:2004:i:4:p:461-469
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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  1. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-78, October.
  4. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  5. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," Working Papers 2001-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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