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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

    as
    1. Walker, Mark & Wooders, John & Amir, Rabah, 2011. "Equilibrium play in matches: Binary Markov games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 487-502, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Dohmen, Thomas J., 2008. "Do professionals choke under pressure?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 636-653, March.
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    6. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & David H. Reiley, 2010. "What Happens in the Field Stays in the Field: Exploring Whether Professionals Play Minimax in Laboratory Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1413-1434, July.
    7. Mark Walker & John Wooders, 2001. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1521-1538, December.
    8. repec:feb:artefa:0094 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    JEL classification:

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

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