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The influence of social pressure and nationality on individual decisions: evidence from the behaviour of referees

  • Peter Dawson
  • Stephen Dobson

This study considers the influences on agents’ decisions in an international context. Using data from six seasons of European cup matches it is found that football referees favour home teams when awarding yellow and red cards. Previous research on referee decisions in national leagues has identified social pressure as a key reason for favouritism. While social pressure is also found to be an important influence in this study, the international context reveals that referee decisions are also influenced by the nationality of the referee and team, and the reputation of the league.

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Paper provided by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division in its series Working Papers with number 2008/14.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbs:wpaper:2008/14
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  1. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  2. Per Pettersson-Lidbom & Mikael Priks, 2007. "Behavior under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias," CESifo Working Paper Series 1960, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2008. "Are Subjective Evaluations Biased by Social Factors or Connections? An Econometric Analysis of Soccer Referee Decisions," MPRA Paper 15819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Neil Rickman & Robert Witt, 2008. "Favouritism and Financial Incentives: A Natural Experiment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 296-309, 05.
  5. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2001. "Professionals Play Minimax," Working Papers 2001-17, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Clement, Robert C & McCormick, Robert E, 1989. "Coaching Team Production," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 287-304, April.
  7. Luis Garicano & Ignacio Palacios & Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Favoritism Under Social Pressure," NBER Working Papers 8376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin G., 2004. "Favoritism of agents - The case of referees' home bias," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 461-469, August.
  9. Germán Coloma, 2007. "Penalty Kicks in Soccer," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(5), pages 530-545, October.
  10. Benno Torgler, 2004. "The Economics of the FIFA Football Worldcup," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 287-300, 05.
  11. Price, Joseph & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," CEPR Discussion Papers 6369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Thomas J. Dohmen, 2008. "The Influence Of Social Forces: Evidence From The Behavior Of Football Referees," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 411-424, 07.
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  14. Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson & John Goddard & John Wilson, 2007. "Are football referees really biased and inconsistent?: evidence on the incidence of disciplinary sanction in the English Premier League," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(1), pages 231-250.
  15. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  16. 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.
  17. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521848053 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Babatunde Buraimo & David Forrest & Robert Simmons, 2007. "The Twelfth Man? Refereeing Bias in English and German Soccer," Working Papers 0707, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
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