IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jgu/wpaper/1405.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Expectations as Reference Points: Field Evidence from Professional Soccer

Author

Listed:
  • Bjoern Bartling

    (Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Swizerland)

  • Leif Brandes

    (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK)

  • Daniel Schunk

    (Department of Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz, Germany)

Abstract

We show that professional soccer players and their coaches exhibit reference-dependent behavior during matches. Controlling for the state of the match and for unobserved heterogeneity, we show on a minute-by-minute basis that players breach the rules of the game, measured by the referee’s assignment of cards, significantly more often if their teams are behind the expected match outcome, measured by pre-play betting odds of large professional bookmakers. We further show that coaches implement significantly more offensive substitutions if their teams are behind expectations. Both types of behaviors impair the expected ultimate match outcome of the team, which shows that our findings do not simply reflect fully rational responses to referencedependent incentive schemes of favorite teams falling behind. We derive these results in a data set that contains more than 8’200 matches from 12 seasons of the German Bundesliga and 12 seasons of the English Premier League.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjoern Bartling & Leif Brandes & Daniel Schunk, 2014. "Expectations as Reference Points: Field Evidence from Professional Soccer," Working Papers 1405, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 17 Apr 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:jgu:wpaper:1405
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://download.uni-mainz.de/RePEc/pdf/Discussion_Paper_1405.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Gordon B. Dahl, 2011. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 103-143.
    2. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    3. Colin Camerer & Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein & Richard Thaler, 1997. "Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers: One Day at a Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 407-441.
    4. Björn Bartling & Klaus M. Schmidt, 2015. "Reference Points, Social Norms, And Fairness In Contract Renegotiations," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 98-129, February.
    5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 2008. "Contracts as Reference Points," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 1-48.
    6. Fabian Herweg & Daniel Muller & Philipp Weinschenk, 2010. "Binary Payment Schemes: Moral Hazard and Loss Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2451-2477, December.
    7. Johannes Abeler & Armin Falk & Lorenz Goette & David Huffman, 2011. "Reference Points and Effort Provision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 470-492, April.
    8. Armin Falk & James J. Heckman, 2009. "Lab Experiments are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences," Working Papers 200935, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    9. Ernst Fehr & Oliver Hart & Christian Zehnder, 2008. "Contracts as reference points � experimental evidence," IEW - Working Papers 393, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    10. Ernst Fehr & Oliver Hart & Christian Zehnder, 2011. "Contracts as Reference Points--Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 493-525, April.
    11. Axel Ockenfels & Dirk Sliwka & Peter Werner, 2015. "Bonus Payments and Reference Point Violations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(7), pages 1496-1513, July.
    12. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-686, May.
    13. 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.
    14. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    15. Vincent P. Crawford & Juanjuan Meng, 2011. "New York City Cab Drivers' Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependent Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1912-1932, August.
    16. Henry S. Farber, 2008. "Reference-Dependent Preferences and Labor Supply: The Case of New York City Taxi Drivers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1069-1082, June.
    17. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1047-1073, September.
    18. Botond Kőszegi & Paul Heidhues, 2008. "Competition and Price Variation When Consumers Are Loss Averse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1245-1268, September.
    19. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2007. "Do Workers Work More if Wages Are High? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 298-317, March.
    20. David Gill & Victoria Prowse, 2012. "A Structural Analysis of Disappointment Aversion in a Real Effort Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 469-503, February.
    21. Alexandre Mas, 2006. "Pay, Reference Points, and Police Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 783-821.
    22. Martin G. Kocher & Marc V. Lenz & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: New Evidence from Randomized Natural Experiments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1585-1591, August.
    23. Henry S. Farber, 2005. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 46-82, February.
    24. Devin G. Pope & Maurice E. Schweitzer, 2011. "Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 129-157, February.
    25. Keith M. Marzilli Ericson & Andreas Fuster, 2011. "Expectations as Endowments: Evidence on Reference-Dependent Preferences from Exchange and Valuation Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1879-1907.
    26. David E. Bell, 1985. "Disappointment in Decision Making Under Uncertainty," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 33(1), pages 1-27, February.
    27. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
    28. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    29. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
    30. P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
    31. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "The Sports Business as a Labor Market Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
    32. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2009. "Reference-Dependent Consumption Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 909-936, June.
    33. Graham Loomes & Robert Sugden, 1986. "Disappointment and Dynamic Consistency in Choice under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 271-282.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Björn Bartling & Leif Brandes & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Expectations as reference points: field evidence from experienced subjects in a competitive, high-stakes environment," ECON - Working Papers 073, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Alex Markle & George Wu & Rebecca White & Aaron Sackett, 2018. "Goals as reference points in marathon running: A novel test of reference dependence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 19-50, February.
    3. Kohei Daido & Takeshi Murooka, 2016. "Team Incentives and Reference‐Dependent Preferences," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 958-989, December.
    4. Jong-Hee Hahn & Jinwoo Kim & Sang-Hyun Kim & Jihong Lee, 2018. "Price discrimination with loss averse consumers," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 65(3), pages 681-728, May.
    5. Macera, Rosario, 2018. "Intertemporal incentives under loss aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 551-594.
    6. Heiko Karle & Dirk Engelmann & Martin Peitz, 2022. "Student performance and loss aversion," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 124(2), pages 420-456, April.
    7. Karle, Heiko & Schumacher, Heiner & Vølund, Rune, 2023. "Consumer loss aversion and scale-dependent psychological switching costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 214-237.
    8. Johannes Abeler & Armin Falk & Lorenz Goette & David Huffman, 2011. "Reference Points and Effort Provision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 470-492, April.
    9. Heiko Karle & Heiner Schumacher & Rune Vølund, 2020. "Consumer search and the uncertainty effect," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven 657766, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
    10. Meisner, Vincent & von Wangenheim, Jonas, 2019. "School Choice and Loss Aversion," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 208, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    11. Hsiaw, Alice, 2018. "Goal bracketing and self-control," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 100-121.
    12. Hsiaw, Alice, 2013. "Goal-setting and self-control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 601-626.
    13. Aurélien Baillon & Han Bleichrodt & Vitalie Spinu, 2020. "Searching for the Reference Point," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 66(1), pages 93-112, January.
    14. Meisner, Vincent & von Wangenheim, Jonas, 2023. "Loss aversion in strategy-proof school-choice mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 207(C).
    15. Florian Zimmermann, 2015. "Clumped or Piecewise? Evidence on Preferences for Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(4), pages 740-753, April.
    16. Vincent Meisner & Jonas von Wangenheim, 2022. "Loss aversion in strategy-proof school-choice mechanisms," Papers 2207.14666, arXiv.org.
    17. Ahrens, Steffen & Pirschel, Inske & Snower, Dennis J., 2017. "A theory of price adjustment under loss aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 78-95.
    18. Antonio Rosato, 2016. "Selling substitute goods to loss-averse consumers: limited availability, bargains, and rip-offs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(3), pages 709-733, August.
    19. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    20. Dato, Simon & Grunewald, Andreas & Müller, Daniel & Strack, Philipp, 2017. "Expectation-based loss aversion and strategic interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 681-705.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    reference points; expectations; experience; high stakes; competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

    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:jgu:wpaper:1405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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: Research Unit IPP (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vlmaide.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.