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Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19

Alex Bryson (), Peter Dolton, J Reade (), Dominik Schreyer () and Carl Singleton ()

Economics Letters, 2021, vol. 198, issue C

Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has induced worldwide natural experiments on the effects of crowds. We exploit one of these experiments that took place over several countries in almost identical settings: professional football matches played behind closed doors within the 2019/20 league seasons. 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 decisions.

Keywords: Attendance; Coronavirus; Covid-19; Home advantage; Natural Experiments; Referee Bias; Social Pressure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D91 L83 Z20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19 (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19 (2020) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:198:y:2021:i:c:s0165176520304249

DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2020.109664

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