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Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment: Comment, Second Version


  • Martin Kocher

    () (School of Economics, University of East Anglia)

  • Marc V. Lenz

    (University of Cologne)

  • Matthias Sutter

    () (University of Innsbruck, University of Gothenburg, and IZA Bonn)


Apesteguia and Palacios-Huerta (APH, forthcoming) report for a sample of 129 soccer penalty shootouts from various seasons in ten different tournaments that teams kicking first win significantly more often than teams kicking second by a margin of 21 percentage points. Collecting data for 470 shootouts, including all of APH's shootouts, we cannot replicate their result. Teams kicking first win 53.4% of shootouts, which is not significantly different from the a priori expected 50%. Our finding implies that (1) APH's results are not generally robust; (2) using selective subsamples without a coherent criterion for data inclusion might lead to non-representative results.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Kocher & Marc V. Lenz & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment: Comment, Second Version," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 015, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:aepppr:2010_15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Wooders, 2010. "Does Experience Teach? Professionals and Minimax Play in the Lab," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 1143-1154, May.
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    More about this item


    Tournament; first-mover advantage; psychological pressure; field experiment; soccer; penalty shootouts;

    JEL classification:

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


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