More Referee Bias

Analyzing the neutrality of referees during 12 German premier league (1. Bundesliga) soccer seasons, this paper documents evidence that social forces influence agents’ decisions. Referees, who are appointed to be impartial, tend to favor the home team by systematically awarding more stoppage time in close matches in which the home team is behind. They also favor the home team in decisions to award goals and penalty kicks. Crowd composition affects the size and the direction of the bias, and the crowd’s proximity to the field is related to the quality of refereeing.

That is from Economic Inquiry

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  • http://profile.typekey.com/Unholysmoke/ Ben Jones

    Even more pronounced in the Spanish league. Last week Real Madrid were behind at home, the ref added on 6 extra minutes! There’s an extent to which this is recognised as part of the game though, for better or worse. You’re more likely to get a decision at home than away – the rationalisation being that as long as everyone does it….

  • http://billmill.org Bill Mill

    The DOI link is broken, and a google search turned up nil.

  • Mike Private

    The link for the article is incorrect:

    is this the correct article?

    THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL FORCES: EVIDENCE FROM THE BEHAVIOR OF FOOTBALL REFEREES
    THOMAS J. DOHMEN
    This paper provides complementary evidence of referee bias based on data from 3,519 games of the 1. Bundesliga, which supports the view that the social environment can affect individual’s decisions. … Using data on 12 soccer seasons and including additional control variables for match interruptions like the number of fouls and the number of actual injury treatments on the field, I first replicate the analysis by Garicano, Palacios-Huerta, and Prendergast (2005) to assess whether there is evidence for referee bias in the German data. … Given the presumption that the intensity of crowd pressure is higher if the distance between the crowd and the referee is smaller, we hypothesize that the home bias becomes stronger when the crowd is closer to the field. …
    Economic Inquiry, OnlineEarly Articles
    Published article online: 14-Jan-2008
    doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.2007.00112.x
    ○ Abstract
    ○ | References
    ○ | Full Text HTML
    ○ | Full Text PDF (168 KB)
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  • http://www.scottaaronson.com Scott Aaronson

    In equally surprising news, cats have been found to harbor a systematic bias against small birds and mice…

  • http://hanson.gmu.edu Robin Hanson

    It does seem Doi isn’t working as advertized – I changed the link.

    Scott, the more you know, the harder it is to find news.