Favoritism of Agents - the Case of Referees' Home Bias

Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems, Papers on Strategic Interaction No. 28-2002

29 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2003

See all articles by Matthias Sutter

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Martin G. Kocher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Economics; Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance; Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law; Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance

Date Written: August 2002

Abstract

We study the behavior of football (soccer) referees in the German Bundesliga. Referees are requested to act as impartial agents. However, they may be tempted to allocate benefits and rewards in a biased way. Agency theory has long neglected this form of malfeasance of economic agents, but has rather concentrated on agents exerting suboptimal effort levels. Favoritism or biased behavior of referees can be investigated by examining their decisions on awarding penalties or extra time at the end of a football match. We can confirm a systematic home bias of referees.

Keywords: agency theory, favoritism, social pressure, referee, German Bundesliga

JEL Classification: D21, D73

Suggested Citation

Sutter, Matthias and Kocher, Martin G., Favoritism of Agents - the Case of Referees' Home Bias (August 2002). Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems, Papers on Strategic Interaction No. 28-2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=333341 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.333341

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Cologne, 50923
Germany

Martin G. Kocher (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

Stumpergasse 56
A-1060 Vienna, A-1060
Austria

Göteborg University - School of Business, Economics and Law ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

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