In Support of the Supporters? Do Social Forces Shape Decisions of the Impartial?

30 Pages Posted: 6 May 2003

See all articles by Thomas J. Dohmen

Thomas J. Dohmen

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Maastricht University - Business Investment Research Center (BIRC)

Date Written: April 2003

Abstract

Analyzing the neutrality of referees during nine German premier league (1. Bundesliga) soccer seasons, this paper documents evidence that social forces influence agents' preferences and decisions. Those, who are appointed to be impartial, tend to favor the home team as they systematically award more injury time in close matches when the home team is behind. Further evidence for similar home bias comes from referees' wrong, or at least disputable, decisions to award goals and penalty shots. The severity of social pressure, measured by the crowd's composition and proximity to the action, determines its effect. Not all agents are affected by social pressure to the same degree.

Keywords: Favoritism, Principal-agent Relationship, Personnel Economics

JEL Classification: J00, M50

Suggested Citation

Dohmen, Thomas, In Support of the Supporters? Do Social Forces Shape Decisions of the Impartial? (April 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=403840

Thomas Dohmen (Contact Author)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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

Maastricht University - Business Investment Research Center (BIRC) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200 MD
Netherlands
+31-43-388 3832 (Phone)
+31-43-388 4856 (Fax)

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