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Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: New Evidence from Randomized Natural Experiments

  • Martin G. Kocher

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Munich, D-80539 Munich, Germany; and Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden)

  • Marc V. Lenz

    ()

    (Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia, E-28001 Madrid, Spain)

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

    (Department of Public Finance, University of Innsbruck, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria; and Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden)

Dynamic competitive settings may create psychological pressure when feedback about the performance of competitors is provided before the end of the competition. Such psychological pressure could produce a first-mover advantage, despite a priori equal winning probabilities. Using data from a randomized natural experiment--penalty shootouts in soccer--we reexamine evidence by Apesteguia and Palacios-Huerta [Apesteguia J, Palacios-Huerta I (2010) Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment. Amer. Econom. Rev . 100(5):2548-2564]. They report a 21-percentage-point advantage for first movers over second movers in terms of winning probabilities. Extending their sample of 129 shootouts to 540, we fail to detect any significant first-mover advantage. Our results are fully consistent with recent evidence from other sports contests. This paper was accepted by Teck Ho, behavioral economics.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1120.1516
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Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

Volume (Year): 58 (2012)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1585-1591

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Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:8:p:1585-1591
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  1. Victoria Prowse & David Gill, 2009. "A Structural Analysis of Disappointment Aversion in a Real Effort Competition," Economics Series Working Papers 448, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Dohmen, Thomas, 2005. "Do Professionals Choke Under Pressure?," IZA Discussion Papers 1905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
  4. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & David H. Reiley, 2010. "What Happens in the Field Stays in the Field: Exploring Whether Professionals Play Minimax in Laboratory Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1413-1434, 07.
  5. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
  6. 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.
  7. John Wooders, 2010. "Does Experience Teach? Professionals and Minimax Play in the Lab," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 1143-1154, 05.
  8. David Reiley & John List & Steven Levitt, 2010. "What happens in the field stays in the field: Professionals do not play minimax in laboratory experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00080, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. repec:feb:artefa:0094 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Oscar Volij, . "Experientia Docet: Professionals Play Minimax In Laboratory Experiments," Economic theory and game theory 019, Oscar Volij.
  11. José Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2008. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," Working Papers 361, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  12. Walker, Mark & Wooders, John & Amir, Rabah, 2011. "Equilibrium play in matches: Binary Markov games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 487-502, March.
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