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Favoritism of agents – The case of referees’ home bias

  • Matthias Sutter
  • Martin G. Kocher

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.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2002-28.

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Length: 29 pages
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Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-28
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  1. Prendergast, Canice & Topel, Robert H, 1996. "Favoritism in Organizations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 958-78, October.
  2. 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.
  3. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  4. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  5. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
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