IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment

Much like cognitive abilities, emotional skills can have major effects on perfor mance and economic outcomes. This paper studies the behavior of professional subjects involved in a dynamic competition in their own natural environment. The setting is a penalty shoot-out in soccer where two teams compete in a tournament framework taking turns in a sequence of five penalty kicks each. As the kicking order is determined by the random outcome of a coin flip, the treatment and control groups are determined via explicit randomization. Therefore, absent any psychological effects, both teams should have the same probability of winning regardless of the kicking order. Yet, we find a systematic first-kicker advantage. Using data on 2,731 penalty kicks from 262 shoot-outs for a three decade period, we find that teams kicking first win the penalty shoot-out 60.5% of the time. A dynamic panel data analysis shows that the psychological mechanism underlying this result arises from the asymmetry in the partial score. As most kicks are scored, kicking first typically means having the opportunity to lead in the partial score, whereas kicking second typically means lagging in the score and having the opportunity to, at most, get even. Having a worse prospect than the opponent hinders subjects' performance. Further, we also find that professionals are self-aware of their own psychological effects. When a recent change in regulations gives winners of the coin toss the chance to choose the kicking order, they rationally react to it by systematically choosing to kick first. A survey of professional players reveals that when asked to explain why they prefer to kick first, they precisely identify the psychological mechanism for which we find empirical support in the data: they want “to lead in the score in order to put pressure on the opponent.”

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/1116.pdf
File Function: Whole Paper
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1116.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1116
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Luis M.B. Cabral & Michael Riordan, 1992. "The Learning Curve, Market Dominance and Predatory Pricing," Papers 0039, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  2. Michael T. Rauh & Giulio Seccia, 2005. "Anxiety and Performance: An Endogenous Learning-by-doing Model," Working Papers 2005-01, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  3. Luis Cabral, 2000. "Increasing Dominance With No Efficiency Effect," Working Papers 00-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-26, June.
  5. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  7. Arellano, M & Carrasco, R, 1996. "Binary Choice Panel Data Models with Predetermined Variables," Papers 9618, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  8. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2003. "Professionals Play Minimax," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 395-415.
  9. Ivan Fernandez-Val, 2007. "Fixed Effects Estimation of Structural Parameters and Marginal Effects in Panel Probit Models," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2007-009, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0407001, EconWPA.
  12. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  13. Green, Jerry R & Stokey, Nancy L, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 349-64, June.
  14. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1997. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," Working Papers 97-37, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  15. Hvide, Hans K. & Kristiansen, Eirik G., 2003. "Risk taking in selection contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 172-179, January.
  16. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  17. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-15, September.
  18. Bo E. Honore & Arthur Lewbel, 2002. "Semiparametric Binary Choice Panel Data Models Without Strictly Exogeneous Regressors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 2053-2063, September.
  19. Heckman, James J., 2008. "Schools, Skills, and Synapses," IZA Discussion Papers 3515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Che, Yeon-Koo & Hendershott, Terrence, 2008. "How to divide the possession of a football?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 561-565, June.
  21. Luís M. B. Cabral, 2003. "R&D Competition when firms Choose Variance," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 139-150, 03.
  22. Loewenstein, George, 1987. "Anticipation and the Valuation of Delayed Consumption," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 666-84, September.
  23. Hvide, H.K., 1999. "Tournament Rewards and Risk Taking," Papers 32-99, Tel Aviv.
  24. Bo E. Honoré & Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 2000. "Panel Data Discrete Choice Models with Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 839-874, July.
  25. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1985. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 85-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  26. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  27. V. Bhaskar, 2009. "Rational Adversaries? Evidence from Randomised Trials in One Day Cricket," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 1-23, 01.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1116. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.