When the Stadium Goes Silent: How Crowds Affect the Performance of Discriminated Groups

DEM Working Papers N. 2021/1

28 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2021

See all articles by Mauro Caselli

Mauro Caselli

University of Trento - School of International Studies; University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management

Paolo Falco

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Stanford University

Gianpiero Mattera

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI)

Date Written: June 1, 2021

Abstract

Using a natural experiment induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, we test how the sudden absence of supporters at football games impacts the performance of players from minority groups in Italy. We find that African players, who are most commonly targeted by racial harassment, experience a significant improvement in performance when supporters are no longer at the stadium. Using data on officially recorded episodes of racist behaviour by fans, we show that performance improves the most among African players in teams that were subject to abuse before the lockdown. We conclude that racial harassment lowers the overall quality of the game.

Keywords: discrimination, harassment, racism, performance, football, COVID-19

JEL Classification: D91, J15, J71, Z22

Suggested Citation

Caselli, Mauro and Falco, Paolo and Mattera, Gianpiero, When the Stadium Goes Silent: How Crowds Affect the Performance of Discriminated Groups (June 1, 2021). DEM Working Papers N. 2021/1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3943174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3943174

Mauro Caselli (Contact Author)

University of Trento - School of International Studies ( email )

Via Tommaso Gar 14
Trento, Trento 38122
Italy

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via Inama 5
Trento, I-38100
Italy

Paolo Falco

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

København
Denmark
+4535334817 (Phone)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Gianpiero Mattera

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI) ( email )

Paris
France

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