Are subjective evaluations biased by social factors or connections? An econometric analysis of soccer referee decisions
Many incentive contracts are based on subjective evaluations and contractual disputes depend on judges’ decisions. However, subjective evaluations raise risks of favouritism and distortions. Sport contests are a fruitful field for testing empirically theories of incentives. In this paper the behaviour of the referees in the Italian soccer (football) league (“Serie A”) is analyzed. Using data on injury (or extra) time subjectively assigned by the referee at the end of the match and controlling for factors which may influence it (players substitutions, yellow and red cards, penalty kicks, etc.), we show that referees are biased in favour of home team, in that injury time is significantly greater if home teams are losing. The refereeing bias increases greatly when there is no running track in the stadium and the crowd is close to the pitch. Following the 2006 “Serie A” scandal we test whether favouritism emerges towards teams suspected of connections with referees finding that these teams obtain favourable decisions. Social pressure by the crowd attending the match however appears to be the main cause of favouritism. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2008
Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/econometrics/journal/181/PS2|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2001.
"Favoritism Under Social Pressure,"
2001-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher, .
"Favoritism of agents – The case of referees’ home bias,"
Papers on Strategic Interaction
2002-28, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2004. "Favoritism of agents - The case of referees' home bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 461-469, August.
- Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2004. "Favoritism of agents - The case of referees' home bias," Munich Reprints in Economics 18180, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Milgrom, Paul R, 1988.
"Employment Contracts, Influence Activities, and Efficient Organization Design,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 42-60, February.
- Paul R. Milgrom., 1987. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities and Efficient Organization Design," Economics Working Papers 8741, University of California at Berkeley.
- Milgrom, Paul R., 1987. "employment contracts, influence activities and efficient organization design," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6pf6c5j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
- Andrea Ichino & Michele Polo & Enrico Rettore, .
"Are Judges Biased by Labor Market Conditions?,"
192, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990.
"Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-24, December.
- Dohmen, Thomas, 2005. "Social Pressure Influences Decisions of Individuals: Evidence from the Behavior of Football Referees," IZA Discussion Papers 1595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
- Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
- Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
- George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
- 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.
- Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
- Canice Prendergast & Robert H. Topel, 1993.
"Favoritism in Organizations,"
NBER Working Papers
4427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2000.
"Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling,"
NBER Working Papers
7798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1594-1605, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:35:y:2008:i:1:p:123-140. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.