Judging Bias in Competitive Academic Debate: The Effects of Region, Side, and Sex

15 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2014

See all articles by Clifford Chad Henson

Clifford Chad Henson

Texas A&M School of Law; Property & Environment Research Center

Paul R. Dorasil

University of Florida

Date Written: April 2014

Abstract

Debate is a “mind sport” that requires fair and impartial judging. This study examines debate rounds at the Tournament of Champions from 2004 to 2009. We use a binomial choice model to estimate the marginal effects of regional bias, sex bias, and side bias, using transitive predictions to control for idiosyncratic quality. We find evidence of region and side bias but not sex bias. These factors may explain the significant number of nontransitive outcomes in the data. Finally, we suggest some policy remedies to mitigate the impact of biases and further applications of our methodology.

JEL Classification: C25, J16, J52, J71, L83

Suggested Citation

Henson, Clifford Chad and Dorasil, Paul R., Judging Bias in Competitive Academic Debate: The Effects of Region, Side, and Sex (April 2014). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 32, Issue 2, pp. 420-434, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2399713 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12032

Clifford Chad Henson (Contact Author)

Texas A&M School of Law

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Property & Environment Research Center ( email )

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Paul R. Dorasil

University of Florida ( email )

Gainesville, FL 32611-7140
United States

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