Incentives, Performance and Choking in Darts
22 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2019 Last revised: 28 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 25, 2019
This paper examines the effect of incentives on the performance of darts players. We analyze four data sets covering a total of 28,761 darts matches of professional, amateur, and youth players. The game of darts offers an attractive natural research setting, because performance can be observed at the individual level and without obscuring effects of risk considerations and behavior of others. We find that amateur and youth players perform better under moderately higher incentives, but choke when the incentives are really high. Professional players similarly display better performance under higher incentives, but appear less susceptible of choking. These results speak to a growing literature on the limits of increasing incentives as a recipe for better performance.
Keywords: incentives, performance pressure, choking under pressure, darts
JEL Classification: D01, D91, Z20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation