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And a Hockey Game Broke Out: Crime and Punishment in the NHL


  • Jac C. Heckelman
  • Andrew J. Yates


We apply the economic theory of crime to the National Hockey League. We analyze a natural experiment in which games during the 1999--2000 season had either one or two referees. We determine the effect of the number of referees on both the number of penalties called and the number of rules infractions committed by players. The results indicate that increasing the number of referees leads to greater enforcement of the rules but does not significantly deter players from committing infractions. (JEL D0, K4) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jac C. Heckelman & Andrew J. Yates, 2003. "And a Hockey Game Broke Out: Crime and Punishment in the NHL," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 705-712, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:705-712

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
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    9. John B. Van Huyck & Raymond C. Battalio & Richard O. Beil, 1991. "Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 885-910.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior


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