No Confidence – No Glory? Coach Behavioral Bias and Team Performance
19 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 13, 2017
Research question: According to behavioral economics, coaches may unconsciously bias from rational behavior, which in turn affects team performance. We analyze the influence of a particular coach behavioral bias, overconfidence, on a soccer team performance.
Research methods: We use a sample of 63 coaches managing all of the soccer clubs involved in the Russian Football Premier League during the four seasons between 2010 and 2013/2014. To measure overconfidence, we use a press-based metric, that is generally accepted in corporate governance studies, and complement it with an additional continuous measure.
Results and Findings: Coaches’ overconfidence positively and significantly influences team average scores, both in baseline regression and robustness checks. Additional testing allows us to draw conclusions regarding the inverse U-shaped relationship between overconfidence and performance. We cannot suppose that overconfidence has any effect on coaches’ risk-taking that can be approximated by goals scored or allowed.
Implications: We apply the well-studied methodology of overconfidence measurement to the new field of sport economics, thereby generating novel results. Despite of the negative perception of overconfidence in corporate governance, we show that in sport it is beneficial to be overconfident. The findings contribute to sport literature, more specifically to the field of performance in soccer, with results that support the importance of a coach’s personal traits.
Keywords: Overconfidence, Soccer, Performance, Coach, Personality
JEL Classification: Z22, J01, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation