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Confidence enhanced performance? – The causal effects of success on future performance in professional golf tournaments

Olof Rosenqvist and Oskar Skans

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2015, vol. 117, issue C, 281-295

Abstract: This paper provides field evidence on the causal impact of past successes on future performances. Since persistence in success or failure is likely to be linked through, potentially time-varying, ability it is intrinsically difficult to identify the causal effect of succeeding on the probability of performing well in the future. We therefore employ a regression discontinuity design on data from professional golf tournaments exploiting that almost equally skilled players are separated into successes and failures half-way into the tournaments (the “cut”). We show that players who (marginally) succeeded in making the cut substantially increased their performance in subsequent tournaments relative to players who (marginally) failed to make the cut. This success-effect is substantially larger when the subsequent (outcome) tournament involves more prize money. The results therefore suggest that past successes provide an important prerequisite when performing high-stakes tasks.

Keywords: Confidence; Success; Performance; Hot hand; Regression discontinuity design; Golf (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 J24 L83 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (20)

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.06.020

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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