The Influence of Social Forces: Evidence from the Behavior of Football Referees

14 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2008

See all articles by Thomas J. Dohmen

Thomas J. Dohmen

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Maastricht University - Business Investment Research Center (BIRC)

Abstract

Analyzing the neutrality of referees during 12 German premier league (1. Bundesliga) soccer seasons, this paper documents evidence that social forces influence agents decisions. Referees, who are appointed to be impartial, tend to favor the home team by systematically awarding more stoppage time in close matches in which the home team is behind. They also favor the home team in decisions to award goals and penalty kicks. Crowd composition affects the size and the direction of the bias, and the crowds proximity to the field is related to the quality of refereeing.

JEL Classification: J00

Suggested Citation

Dohmen, Thomas, The Influence of Social Forces: Evidence from the Behavior of Football Referees. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 46, No. 3, pp. 411-424, July 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1263072 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2007.00112.x

Thomas Dohmen (Contact Author)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Maastricht University - Business Investment Research Center (BIRC) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31-43-388 3832 (Phone)
+31-43-388 4856 (Fax)

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