IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/clb/wpaper/202006.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Pressure In The Stadiums: Do Agents Change Behavior Without Crowd Support?

Author

Listed:
  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria)

Abstract

Social pressure may have relevant consequences in many contexts but it is hard to evaluate it empirically. In this paper we exploit a natural experiment in soccer to provide clear evidence of its effects. We aim to study how social pressure from the crowd in a stadium affects both players and referees. While in normal matches crowd support may be correlated to a host of variables affecting the outcome of interest, we exploit the fact that after the health emergency for the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, soccer matches in top European Leagues have been allowed only behind closed doors, that is, without spectators in the stadiums. We use data of first and second division of 5 major European Leagues (Germany, Spain, England, Italy and Portugal) for the last 10 championships and compare several outcomes (determined by players’ performance and referees’ decisions) of matches played with crowd support to the same outcomes when matches were played without crowd. We find considerable effects of the pressure from the crowd: while with the support of the crowd a considerable home advantage emerges in various measures of performance (points, goals, shots, etc.), this advantage is almost halved when matches are behind closed doors. Similar effects are found for the behavior of referees: decisions of fouls, yellow cards, red cards and penalties that tend to favor home teams in normal matches, are much more balanced without crowd pressing on referees. The evidence we provide strongly supports the idea that social pressure has intense effects on agents’ behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Scoppa, 2020. "Social Pressure In The Stadiums: Do Agents Change Behavior Without Crowd Support?," Working Papers 202006, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
  • Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:202006
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP06_2020.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2020-08
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oberhofer, Harald & Philippovich, Tassilo & Winner, Hannes, 2010. "Distance matters in away games: Evidence from the German football league," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 200-211, April.
    2. Leonardo Bursztyn & Robert Jensen, 2017. "Social Image and Economic Behavior in the Field: Identifying, Understanding, and Shaping Social Pressure," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 131-153, September.
    3. Patricia Funk, 2010. "Social Incentives and Voter Turnout: Evidence from the Swiss Mail Ballot System," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(5), pages 1077-1103, September.
    4. Stefano DellaVigna & John A. List & Ulrike Malmendier, 2012. "Testing for Altruism and Social Pressure in Charitable Giving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 1-56.
    5. 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.
    6. Bryson, Alex & Dolton, Peter & Reade, J. James & Schreyer, Dominik & Singleton, Carl, 2021. "Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    7. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    8. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Canice Prendergast, 2005. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 208-216, May.
    9. Thomas Peeters & Jan C. van Ours, 2020. "Seasonal Home Advantage in English Professional Football; 1973-2018," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 20-025/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    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. Vincenzo Scoppa, 2008. "Are subjective evaluations biased by social factors or connections? An econometric analysis of soccer referee decisions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 123-140, August.
    12. Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2021. "Social pressure in the stadiums: Do agents change behavior without crowd support?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    13. Gerber, Alan S. & Green, Donald P. & Larimer, Christopher W., 2008. "Social Pressure and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 33-48, February.
    14. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
    15. Janhuba, Radek, 2019. "Do victories and losses matter? Effects of football on life satisfaction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 75(PB).
    16. 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.
    17. Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2006. "Clean Evidence on Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 39-58, January.
    18. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Priks, Mikael, 2010. "Behavior under social pressure: Empty Italian stadiums and referee bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 212-214, August.
    19. Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2018. "Does the Home Advantage Depend on Crowd Support? Evidence From Same-Stadium Derbies," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 19(4), pages 562-582, May.
    20. Eisenkopf, Gerald & Friehe, Tim, 2014. "Stop watching and start listening! The impact of coaching and peer observation in tournaments," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 56-70.
    21. 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.
    22. Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson & John Goddard & John Wilson, 2007. "Are football referees really biased and inconsistent?: evidence on the incidence of disciplinary sanction in the English Premier League," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(1), pages 231-250, January.
    23. Garicano, Luis & Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio, 2005. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Making the Beautiful Game a Bit Less Beautiful," CEPR Discussion Papers 5231, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    24. Alex Bryson & Peter Dolton & J James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Experimental effects of an absent crowd on performance and refereeing decisions during Covid-19," DoQSS Working Papers 20-04, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    25. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Echoes: what happens when football is played behind closed doors?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-14, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    26. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    27. repec:feb:framed:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Thomas J. Dohmen, 2008. "The Influence Of Social Forces: Evidence From The Behavior Of Football Referees," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 411-424, July.
    29. Goller, Daniel & Krumer, Alex, 2020. "Let's meet as usual: Do games played on non-frequent days differ? Evidence from top European soccer leagues," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 286(2), pages 740-754.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2021. "Social pressure in the stadiums: Do agents change behavior without crowd support?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    2. Ferraresi, Massimiliano & Gucciardi, Gianluca, 2021. "Who chokes on a penalty kick? Social environment and individual performance during Covid-19 times," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 203(C).
    3. Alex Bryson & Peter Dolton & J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2021. "What we can learn about economics from professional sport during Covid-19," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 525, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    4. Bryson, Alex & Dolton, Peter & Reade, J. James & Schreyer, Dominik & Singleton, Carl, 2021. "Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    5. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-25, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    6. Colella, F. & Dalton, Patricio & Giusti, G., 2021. "All you Need is Love : The Effect of Moral Support on Performance (Revision of CentER DP 2018-026)," Other publications TiSEM aa76dfa7-73db-45d1-8c47-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    7. Mauro Caselli & Paolo Falco, 2021. "When the Mob Goes Silent: Uncovering the Effects of Racial Harassment through a Natural Experiment," DEM Working Papers 2021/01, Department of Economics and Management.
    8. Massimiliano Ferraresi & Gianluca Gucciardi, 2020. "Team performance and audience: experimental evidence from the football sector," Working papers 94, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-25, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    2. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Echoes: what happens when football is played behind closed doors?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-14, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    3. Thomas Dohmen & Jan Sauermann, 2016. "Referee Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 679-695, September.
    4. Bryson, Alex & Dolton, Peter & Reade, J. James & Schreyer, Dominik & Singleton, Carl, 2021. "Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    5. Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2018. "Does the Home Advantage Depend on Crowd Support? Evidence From Same-Stadium Derbies," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 19(4), pages 562-582, May.
    6. Andrea Albanese & Stijn Baert & Olivier Verstraeten, 2020. "Twelve eyes see more than eight. Referee bias and the introduction of additional assistant referees in soccer," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(2), pages 1-15, February.
    7. 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).
    8. Stijn Baert & Simon Amez, 2018. "No better moment to score a goal than just before half time? A soccer myth statistically tested," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(3), pages 1-17, March.
    9. Mauro Caselli & Paolo Falco, 2021. "When the Mob Goes Silent: Uncovering the Effects of Racial Harassment through a Natural Experiment," DEM Working Papers 2021/01, Department of Economics and Management.
    10. 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.
    11. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 2013. "Red cards, referee home bias and social pressure: evidence from English Premiership Soccer," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 710-714, May.
    12. Hlasny, V. & Kolaric, S., 2015. "Catch Me If You Can - Referee–Team Relationships and Disciplinary Cautions in Football," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 74994, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    13. Seungwhan Chun & Sang Soo Park, 2021. "Home Advantage in Skeleton: Familiarity versus Crowd Support," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 22(1), pages 3-26, January.
    14. 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.
    15. Seungwhan Chun & Sang Soo Park, 2019. "Home Advantage in Skeleton: Familiarity versus Crowd Support," Discussion Paper Series 1901, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
    16. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Priks, Mikael, 2010. "Behavior under social pressure: Empty Italian stadiums and referee bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 212-214, August.
    17. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 2016. "Disciplinary Sanction and Social Pressure in English Premiership Soccer," Working Paper Series 8816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    18. Carlos Alberto Belchior, 2020. "Fans and Match Results: Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Brazil," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 21(7), pages 663-687, October.
    19. 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.
    20. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Pressure; Crowd Support; Emotional Factors; Social Approval; Performance; Home Advantage; Referee’s Favoritism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • Z2 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:202006. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/decalit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Giovanni Dodero (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/decalit.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.