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In Support of the Supporters? Do Social Forces Shape Decisions of the Impartial?

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  • Dohmen, Thomas

    () (University of Bonn and IZA)

Abstract

Analyzing the neutrality of referees during nine German premier league (1. Bundesliga) soccer seasons, this paper documents evidence that social forces influence agents' preferences and decisions. Those, who are appointed to be impartial, tend to favor the home team as they systematically award more injury time in close matches when the home team is behind. Further evidence for similar home bias comes from referees' wrong, or at least disputable, decisions to award goals and penalty shots. The severity of social pressure, measured by the crowd's composition and proximity to the action, determines its effect. Not all agents are affected by social pressure to the same degree.

Suggested Citation

  • Dohmen, Thomas, 2003. "In Support of the Supporters? Do Social Forces Shape Decisions of the Impartial?," IZA Discussion Papers 755, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp755
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dohmen, Thomas, 2005. "Social Pressure Influences Decisions of Individuals: Evidence from the Behavior of Football Referees," IZA Discussion Papers 1595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    favoritism; principal-agent relationship; personnel economics;

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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