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Favoritism of agents – The case of referees’ home bias

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Listed:
  • Matthias Sutter
  • Martin G. Kocher

Abstract

We study the behavior of football (soccer) referees in the German Bundesliga. Referees are requested to act as impartial agents. However, they may be tempted to allocate benefits and rewards in a biased way. Agency theory has long neglected this form of malfeasance of economic agents, but has rather concentrated on agents exerting suboptimal effort levels. Favoritism or biased behavior of referees can be investigated by examining their decisions on awarding penalties or extra time at the end of a football match. We can confirm a systematic home bias of referees.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Sutter & Martin G. Kocher, "undated". "Favoritism of agents – The case of referees’ home bias," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-28, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-28
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2001. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 203-232, February.
    3. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    4. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-978, October.
    5. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    agency theory; favoritism; social pressure; referee; German Bundesliga;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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