Experimental Effects of an Absent Crowd on Performances and Refereeing Decisions During COVID-19

22 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2020 Last revised: 12 Aug 2020

See all articles by Alex Bryson

Alex Bryson

UCL ; National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

Peter Dolton

University of London - Institute of Education; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

James Reade

University of Reading

Dominik Schreyer

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Carl Singleton

Department of Economics, University of Reading

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 6, 2020

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has induced worldwide natural experiments on the effects of crowds. We exploit one of these experiments currently taking place over several countries in almost identical settings: professional football matches played behind closed doors. We find large and statistically significant effects on the number of yellow cards issued by referees. Without a crowd, fewer cards were awarded to the away teams, reducing home advantage. These results have implications for the influence of social pressure and crowds on the neutrality of refereeing decisions.

Keywords: Attendance, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Home advantage, Natural Experiments, Referee Bias, Social Pressure

JEL Classification: C90, D91, L83, Z20

Suggested Citation

Bryson, Alex and Dolton, Peter and Reade, James and Schreyer, Dominik and Singleton, Carl, Experimental Effects of an Absent Crowd on Performances and Refereeing Decisions During COVID-19 (August 6, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3668183 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3668183

Alex Bryson

UCL ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ABRYS65

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) ( email )

2 Dean Trench Street
Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.niesr.ac.uk/staff/staffdetail.php?StaffID=307

Peter Dolton

University of London - Institute of Education ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom
+44 (0)207 612 6395 (Phone)
+44 (0)207 612 6880 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

James Reade

University of Reading

Dominik Schreyer

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Carl Singleton (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
81
Abstract Views
759
rank
306,072
PlumX Metrics