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Expectations as Reference Points: Field Evidence from Experienced Subjects in a Competitive, High-Stakes Environment

Author

Listed:
  • Björn Bartling
  • Leif Brandes
  • Daniel Schunk

Abstract

We show that professional soccer players exhibit reference-dependent behavior during matches. Controlling for the state of the match and for unobserved heterogeneity, we show on a minute-by-minute basis that a player breaches the rules of the game, measured by the referee’s assignment of cards, with a significantly higher probability if his team is behind the expected match outcome, measured by pre-play betting odds of large professional bookmakers. We derive these results in two independent data sets, one from ten seasons of the German Bundesliga, the other from eight seasons the English Premier League, each with more than half a million minutes of play.

Suggested Citation

  • Björn Bartling & Leif Brandes & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Expectations as Reference Points: Field Evidence from Experienced Subjects in a Competitive, High-Stakes Environment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3830, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3830
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    reference points; expectations; experience; high stakes; competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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