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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:58:y:2012:i:8:p:1585-1591
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1120.1516
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    4. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Oscar Volij, 2008. "Experientia Docet: Professionals Play Minimax in Laboratory Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 71-115, January.
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    6. 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, July.
    7. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
    8. repec:feb:artefa:0094 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Steven Levitt & John List & David Reiley, 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tournament; first-mover advantage; psychological pressure; field experiment; soccer; penalty shootouts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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    1. Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: New Evidence from Randomized Natural Experiments (Management Science 2012) in ReplicationWiki

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