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The influence of social pressure and nationality on individual decisions: Evidence from the behaviour of referees

  • Dawson, Peter
  • Dobson, Stephen

This study considers the influences on agents' decisions in an international context. Using data from five seasons of European cup football matches it is found that referees favour home teams when awarding yellow and red cards. Previous research on referee decisions in national leagues has identified social pressure as a key reason for favouritism. While social pressure is also found to be an important influence in this study, the international setting shows that nationality is another important influence on the decision making of referees. In considering principal-agent relationships account needs to be taken not only of how agents (referees) decide under social pressure but also of how national identity shapes agents' decision making.

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

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 181-191

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:2:p:181-191
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  1. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2005. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 208-216, May.
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  3. Rickman, Neil & Witt, Robert, 2005. "Favouritism and Financial Incentives: A Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4968, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson & John Goddard & John Wilson, 2007. "Are football referees really biased and inconsistent?: evidence on the incidence of disciplinary sanction in the English Premier League," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(1), pages 231-250.
  9. Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1859-1887.
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  12. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "Professionals Play Minimax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 395-415.
  13. Germán Coloma, 2007. "Penalty Kicks in Soccer," Journal of Sports Economics, The North American Association of Sports Economists, vol. 8(5), pages 530-545, October.
  14. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
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  17. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  18. P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
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