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