Favoritism Under Social Pressure

34 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2001 Last revised: 25 Sep 2001

See all articles by Luis Garicano

Luis Garicano

IE Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Ignacio Isabel Palacios-Huerta

London School of Economics

Canice Prendergast

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2001

Abstract

This paper provides empirical evidence of favoritism by agents, where that favoritism is generated by social pressure. To do so, we explore the behavior of professional soccer referees. Referees have discretion over the addition of extra time at the end of a soccer game (called injury time), to compensate for lost time due to unusual stoppages. We test for systematic bias shown by Spanish referees in favor of home teams. We show that referees systematically favor home teams by shortening close games where the home team is ahead, and lengthening close games where the home team is behind. They show no such bias for games that are not close. We further show that when the rewards for winning games increase, referees change their bias accordingly. We also identify that the mechanism through which bias operates is the referees' desire to satisfy the crowd, by documenting how the size and composition of the crowd affect referee favoritism.

Suggested Citation

Garicano, Luis and Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio Isabel and Prendergast, Canice, Favoritism Under Social Pressure (July 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8376. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=276006

Luis Garicano (Contact Author)

IE Business School ( email )

Calle MarĂ­a de Molina, 11
Madrid, 28006
Spain

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Ignacio Isabel Palacios-Huerta

London School of Economics ( email )

Dept. of Management
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Canice Prendergast

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7309 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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