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Biased Impartiality Among National Hockey League Referees

Author

Listed:
  • Michael J. Lopez

    () (Brown University)

  • Kevin Snyder

    () (Southern New Hampshire University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Lopez & Kevin Snyder, 2013. "Biased Impartiality Among National Hockey League Referees," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 8(3), pages 208-223, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:8:y:2013:i:3:p:208-223
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Snyder Kevin & Lopez Michael, 2015. "Consistency, accuracy, and fairness: a study of discretionary penalties in the NFL," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 219-230, December.
    2. Michael J. Lopez, 2016. "Persuaded Under Pressure: Evidence From The National Football League," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(4), pages 1763-1773, October.
    3. repec:pal:jorsoc:v:68:y:2017:i:9:d:10.1057_s41274-017-0243-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    biased impartiality; National Hockey League; referees;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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