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Team performance and audience: experimental evidence from the football sector

Author

Listed:
  • Massimiliano Ferraresi

    (European Commission Joint Research Centre)

  • Gianluca Gucciardi

    (European Commission Joint Research Centre and Ispra)

Abstract

We exploit the natural experimental setting provided by the Covid-19 lockdown to analyse how performance is affected by a friendly audience. Specifically, we use data on all football matches in the top-level competitions across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom over the 2019/2020 season. We compare the difference between the number of points gained by teams playing at home and teams competing away before the Covid-19 outbreak, when supporters could attend any match, with the same difference after the lockdown, when all matches took place behind closed doors. We find that the performance of the home team is halved when stadiums are empty, with this effect being more marked for teams whose attendance rate was very high and for those that do not have international experience. Taken together, these results may play a key role in the design of the future workplace as ‘smart working’—an organisational model where the perception of being observed is less pronounced—is becoming increasingly important.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimiliano Ferraresi & Gianluca Gucciardi, 2020. "Team performance and audience: experimental evidence from the football sector," Working papers 94, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipu:wpaper:94
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Kai Fischer & Justus Haucap, 2021. "Does Crowd Support Drive the Home Advantage in Professional Football? Evidence from German Ghost Games during the COVID-19 Pandemic," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 22(8), pages 982-1008, December.
    3. 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).
    4. 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).
    5. Pascal Flurin Meier & Raphael Flepp & Egon Franck, 2021. "Are sports betting markets semistrong efficient? Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic," Working Papers 387, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    6. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2022. "Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 60(3), pages 1416-1436, July.
    7. ARAKI Shota & MORITA Hiroshi, 2021. "Social Pressure in Football Matches: An Event Study of "Remote Matches" in Japan," Discussion papers 21095, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    team performance; home advantage; choking; lockdown; natural experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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