Behavior Under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias

16 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2007

See all articles by Per Pettersson-Lidbom

Per Pettersson-Lidbom

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Mikael Priks

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: April 2007

Abstract

This paper studies how social pressure affects the behavior of soccer referees. We make use of an attractive source of exogenous variation in the number of spectators at matches. Due to recent hooligan violence, the Italian government has implemented a regulation that forces some soccer teams to temporarily play home matches in empty stadiums. We find that referees punish away players more harshly and home players more lightly when the games are played in front of spectators compared to when they are not. This indicates that referees exhibit home bias caused by social pressure from the spectators.

Keywords: social pressure, bias, incentives, personnel economics, natural experiment

JEL Classification: J00

Suggested Citation

Pettersson-Lidbom, Per and Priks, Mikael, Behavior Under Social Pressure: Empty Italian Stadiums and Referee Bias (April 2007). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1960, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=981122

Per Pettersson-Lidbom

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Mikael Priks (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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