Biased Impartiality Among National Hockey League Referees
This paper builds an economic model of referee behavior in the National Hockey League using period-specific, in-game data. Recognizing that referees are influenced by a desire for perceived fairness, this model isolates situations where a referee is more likely to call a penalty on one team. While prior research has focused on a systematic bias in favor of the home team, we find that referee bias also depends upon game-specific conditions that incentivize an evening of penalty calls. Refereeing games in this fashion maintains the integrity of the game, thus benefiting spectator perceptions and opportunities for financial returns.
Volume (Year): 8 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
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