Misconduct and Leader Behaviour in Contests – New Evidence from European Football
MAGKS Discussion Paper Series in Economics, No. 29-2016
25 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2016 Last revised: 17 Jan 2020
Date Written: March 1, 2018
This paper provides an empirical investigation of severe misconducts in contests based on data from European football championships. We extend previous studies by differentiating between two types of misconducts both resulting in a yellow card, namely dissents with the referee and other misconducts. Confirming the existing literature, we find that teams with lower ability are more likely to commit sabotage, i.e. fouls, to reduce the opponent's chances for success. Sabotage is also more likely when the outcome of the contests is still open. In addition, we find that dissents with the referee are significantly more likely in the case of an unfavourable score. We introduce a new perspective to the study of football data by distinguishing misconducts of team captains from those of other players. We find that captains engage more in sabotage during important matches and challenge referees' decisions in direct reaction to sanctions awarded to teammates. In contrast to regular players, however, captains do not participate in the escalation of series of retaliative misconducts. Finally, our analyses indicate that all types of misconduct have a negative effect on the likelihood of success.
Keywords: Contest, Dissent, Leadership, Sabotage, Football
JEL Classification: D74, D91, M54, Z22.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation