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Behavior under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias

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  • Per Pettersson-Lidbom
  • Mikael Priks

Abstract

This paper studies how social pressure affects the behavior of soccer referees. We make use of an attractive source of exogenous variation in the number of spectators at matches. Due to recent hooligan violence, the Italian government has implemented a regulation that forces some soccer teams to temporarily play home matches in empty stadiums. We find that referees punish away players more harshly and home players more lightly when the games are played in front of spectators compared to when they are not. This indicates that referees exhibit home bias caused by social pressure from the spectators.

Suggested Citation

  • Per Pettersson-Lidbom & Mikael Priks, 2007. "Behavior under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias," CESifo Working Paper Series 1960, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1960
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Dawson, 2014. "Refereeing and infringement of the rules," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 24, pages 401-418 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Doyle Joanne M. & Leard Benjamin, 2012. "Variations in Home Advantage: Evidence from the National Hockey League," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-27, June.
    3. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1104-1118 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. R. Todd Jewell & Rob Simmons & Stefan Szymanski, 2014. "Bad for Business? The Effects of Hooliganism on English Professional Football Clubs," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 15(5), pages 429-450, October.
    5. Mikael Priks, 2013. "Singin' in the Rain: A Study of Social Pressure on the Soccer Field," CESifo Working Paper Series 4481, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. 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.
    7. Thomas Dohmen & Jan Sauermann, 2016. "Referee Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 679-695, September.
    8. Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco González-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola, 2011. "The importance of time in referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football," FEG Working Paper Series 03/11, Faculty of Economics and Business (University of Granada).
    9. Krumer, Alex & Lechner, Michael, 2016. "Midweek Effect on Performance: Evidence from the German Soccer Bundesliga," Economics Working Paper Series 1609, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    10. Dawson, Peter & Dobson, Stephen, 2010. "The influence of social pressure and nationality on individual decisions: Evidence from the behaviour of referees," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-191, April.
    11. Casas, Agustin & Fawaz, Yarine, 2013. "Altitude as handicap in rank-order football tournaments," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1316, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    12. Barry Reilly, 2014. "Labour market discrimination," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 15, pages 238-258 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:412-427 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Amegashie, J. Atsu & Ouattara, Bazoumanna & Strobl, Eric, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," MPRA Paper 3158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 May 2007.
    15. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 2016. "Disciplinary Sanction and Social Pressure in English Premiership Soccer," Working Paper Series 8816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    16. Harb-Wu, Ken & Krumer, Alex, 2017. "Choking Under Pressure in Front of a Supportive Audience: Evidence from Professional Biathlon," Economics Working Paper Series 1717, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    17. Krumer, Alex & Lechner, Michael, 2016. "First In First Win: Evidence on Unfairness of Round-Robin Tournaments in Mega-Events," Economics Working Paper Series 1611, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    18. 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.
    19. Juan Mendoza & Andrés Rosas, 2013. "Referee Bias in Professional Soccer: Evidence from Colombia," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 011059, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
    20. Andrés Picazo-Tadeo & Francisco Gónzalez-Gómez & Jorge Guardiola Wanden-Berghe, 2011. "Referee home bias due to social pressure. Evidence from Spanish football," Working Papers 1119, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    21. Katherine G. Yewell & Steven B. Caudill & Franklin G. Mixon, Jr., 2014. "Referee Bias and Stoppage Time in Major League Soccer: A Partially Adaptive Approach," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, February.
    22. Page, Katie & Page, Lionel, 2010. "Alone against the crowd: Individual differences in referees' ability to cope under pressure," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 192-199, April.

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