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Psychological momentum in contests: The case of scoring before half-time in football

Romain Gauriot and Lionel Page ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, vol. 149, issue C, 137-168

Abstract: We study the existence of a psychological momentum commonly believed to exist in a real world contest: the effect of scoring just before half-time in association football (soccer). Using high quality data on football matches, we isolate a quasi-experimental situation to identify the effect of scoring on later performance. We carefully select shots toward the goal, taken from a similar location on the pitch, which landed on the goal posts. Using the non-goal shots as conterfactuals to the scoring shots, we estimate the causal effect of scoring at different times in the first half. We do not find any evidence of an effect of scoring before half-time. This result contributes to the debate on whether psychological momentum exists in contests.

Keywords: Dynamic contest; Behavioural economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D74 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.02.015

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

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:137-168