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Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19

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Listed:
  • Alex Bryson
  • Peter Dolton
  • J. James Reade
  • Dominik Schreyer
  • Carl Singleton

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has induced worldwide natural experiments on the effects of crowds. We exploit one of these experiments that took place over several countries in almost identical settings: professional football matches played behind closed doors within the 2019/20 league seasons. We find large and statistically significant effects on the number of yellow cards issued by referees. Without a crowd, fewer cards were awarded to the away teams, reducing home advantage. These results have implications for the influence of social pressure and crowds on the neutrality of decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Bryson & Peter Dolton & J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 524, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:nsr:niesrd:524
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Caselli & Paolo Falco, 2021. "When the Mob Goes Silent: Uncovering the Effects of Racial Harassment through a Natural Experiment," DEM Working Papers 2021/01, Department of Economics and Management.
    2. Colella, F. & Dalton, Patricio & Giusti, G., 2021. "All you Need is Love : The Effect of Moral Support on Performance (Revision of CentER DP 2018-026)," Other publications TiSEM aa76dfa7-73db-45d1-8c47-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2021. "Social pressure in the stadiums: Do agents change behavior without crowd support?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    4. Federico Fioravanti & Fernando Delbianco & Fernando Tohm'e, 2021. "Home advantage and crowd attendance: Evidence from rugby during the Covid 19 pandemic," Papers 2105.01446, arXiv.org.
    5. Carl Singleton & J. James Reade & Johan Rewilak & Dominik Schreyer, 2021. "How big is home advantage at the Olympic Games?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-13, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    6. Kai Fischer & Justus Haucap, 2020. "Betting Market Efficiency in the Presence of Unfamiliar Shocks: The Case of Ghost Games during the Covid-19 Pandemic," CESifo Working Paper Series 8526, CESifo.
    7. Bryson, Alex & Dolton, Peter & Reade, J. James & Schreyer, Dominik & Singleton, Carl, 2021. "Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    8. Colella, F. & Dalton, Patricio & Giusti, G., 2021. "All you Need is Love : The Effect of Moral Support on Performance (Revision of CentER DP 2018-026)," Discussion Paper 2021-005, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Ferraresi, Massimiliano & Gucciardi, Gianluca, 2021. "Who chokes on a penalty kick? Social environment and individual performance during Covid-19 times," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 203(C).
    10. Pascal Flurin Meier & Raphael Flepp & Egon Franck, 2021. "Are sports betting markets semistrong efficient? Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic," Working Papers 387, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    11. Carl Singleton & Alex Bryson & Peter Dolton & J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer, 2021. "What Can We Learn About Economics from Sport during Covid-19?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-01, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    12. Christoph Buehren & Marvin Gabriel, 2021. "Performing best when it matters the most: Evidence from professional handball," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202119, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    13. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-25, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    14. Dmitry Dagaev & Sofia Paklina & J. James Reade & Carl Singleton, 2021. "The Iron Curtain and Referee Bias in International Football," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-14, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    15. Kai Fischer & J. James Reade & W. Benedikt Schmal, 2021. "The Long Shadow of an Infection: COVID-19 and Performance at Work," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2021-17, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    16. Dominik Schreyer & Benno Torgler, 2021. "Football spectator no-show behavior in Switzerland: Empirical evidence from season ticket holder behavior," CREMA Working Paper Series 2021-06, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    17. D'avid Zolt'an Szab'o & Diego Andr'es P'erez, 2021. "Does home advantage without crowd exist in American football?," Papers 2104.11595, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Attendance; Coronavirus; Covid-19; Home advantage; Natural Experiments; Referee Bias; Social Pressure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • Z20 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - General

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