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Psychological pressure in competitive environments: New evidence from randomized natural experiments

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  • Kocher, Martin G.
  • Lenz, Marc V.
  • Sutter, Matthias

Abstract

Dynamic competitive settings may create psychological pressure when feedback about the performance of competitors is provided before the end of the competition. Such psychological pressure could produce a first-mover advantage, despite a priori equal winning probabilities. Using data from a randomized natural experiment-penalty shootouts in soccer-we reexamine evidence by Apesteguia and Palacios-Huerta [Apesteguia J, Palacios-Huerta I (2010) Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment. Amer. Econom. Rev. 100(5):2548-2564]. They report a 21-percentage-point advantage for first movers over second movers in terms of winning probabilities. Extending their sample of 129 shootouts to 540, we fail to detect any significant first-mover advantage. Our results are fully consistent with recent evidence from other sports contests.

Suggested Citation

  • Kocher, Martin G. & Lenz, Marc V. & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Psychological pressure in competitive environments: New evidence from randomized natural experiments," Munich Reprints in Economics 18160, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:18160
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jose Apesteguia & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2010. "Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2548-2564, December.
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    4. Steven Levitt & John List & David Reiley, 2010. "What happens in the field stays in the field: Professionals do not play minimax in laboratory experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00080, The Field Experiments Website.
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    12. repec:feb:artefa:0094 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Björn Bartling & Leif Brandes & Daniel Schunk, 2015. "Expectations as Reference Points: Field Evidence from Professional Soccer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(11), pages 2646-2661, November.
    2. Godlonton, Susan, 2014. "Employment risk and job-seeker performance:," IFPRI discussion papers 1332, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Hickman, Daniel C. & Metz, Neil E., 2015. "The impact of pressure on performance: Evidence from the PGA TOUR," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 319-330.
    4. Nejat Anbarci & Ching-Jen Sun & M. Utku Ünver, 2015. "Designing Fair Tiebreak Mechanisms for Sequential Team Contests," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 871, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Feb 2018.
    5. Florian Lindner, 2017. "Choking under pressure of top performers: Evidence from biathlon competitions," Working Papers 2017-24, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    6. Alex Krumer & Reut Megidish & Aner Sela, 2017. "First-mover advantage in round-robin tournaments," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 48(3), pages 633-658, March.
    7. Leif Brandes & Marc Brechot & Egon Franck, 2011. "The Temptation of Social Ties: When Interpersonal Network Transactions Hurt Firm Performance," Working Papers 00159, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised 2012.
    8. Björn Bartling & Leif Brandes & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Expectations as Reference Points: Field Evidence from Experienced Subjects in a Competitive, High-Stakes Environment," CESifo Working Paper Series 3830, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Fu, Qiang & Ke, Changxia & Tan, Fangfang, 2015. "“Success breeds success” or “Pride goes before a fall”?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 57-79.
    10. Kendall, Graham & Lenten, Liam J.A., 2017. "When sports rules go awry," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 257(2), pages 377-394.
    11. Gueorgui I. Kolev & Gonçalo Pina & Federico Todeschini, 2015. "Decision Making and Underperformance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from the National Hockey League," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 65-80, February.
    12. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Andreoli-Versbach, Patrick, 2013. "Leading-effect vs. Risk-taking in Dynamic Tournaments: Evidence from a Real-life Randomized Experiment," Discussion Papers in Economics 15452, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    13. Houy, Nicolas & Nicolaï, Jean-Philippe & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2016. "Doing Your Best When Stakes Are High? Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 9766, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Bradley J. Ruffle & Oscar Volij, 2016. "First-mover advantage in best-of series: an experimental comparison of role-assignment rules," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 45(4), pages 933-970, November.
    15. Jim Downey & Joseph McGarrity, 2015. "Pick off Throws, Stolen Bases, and Southpaws: A Comparative Static Analysis of a Mixed Strategy Game," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 43(3), pages 319-335, September.
    16. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2015. "Gender Differences In Reaction To Psychological Pressure: Evidence From Tennis Players," Working Papers 201506, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    17. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Krumer, Alex & Shtudiner, Ze'ev, 2017. "Psychological momentum and gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 66-81.
    18. Ryan Brady & Michael Insler, 2017. "Order of Play Advantage in Sequential Tournaments: Evidence from randomized settings in professional golf," Departmental Working Papers 54, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.
    19. Qiang Fu & Changxia Ke & Fangfang Tan, 2013. ""Success Breeds Success" or "Pride Goes Before a Fall"? Teams and Individuals in Multi-contest Tournaments," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2013-06, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    20. Christoph Bühren & Philip J. Steinberg, 2017. "The impact of psychological traits on performance in sequential tournaments: Evidence from a tennis field experiment," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201705, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    21. Brandes, Leif & Brechot, Marc & Franck, Egon, 2015. "Managers’ external social ties at work: Blessing or curse for the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 203-216.
    22. Nicolas Houy & Jean-Philippe Nicolaï & Marie Claire Villeval, 2017. "Always doing your best? Effort and performance in dynamic settings," Working Papers 1736, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    23. Feri, Francesco & Innocenti, Alessandro & Pin, Paolo, 2013. "Is there psychological pressure in competitive environments?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 249-256.
    24. Krumer, Alex & Megidish, Reut & Sela, Aner, 2014. "Round-Robin Versus Elimination in Tournaments with a Dominant Player," CEPR Discussion Papers 10081, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Morgulev, Elia & Azar, Ofer H. & Lidor, Ronnie & Sabag, Eran & Bar-Eli, Michael, 2014. "Deception and decision making in professional basketball: Is it beneficial to flop?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 108-118.

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    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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