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The performance advantage of traveling

Uri Zak

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2021, vol. 87, issue C

Abstract: Many individuals travel between countries as part of their professional routines. How do they perform during those short trips abroad? To begin to answer this question, I analyzed the outcomes of over 5 million chess games played around the world. Importantly, tournament chess provides a clean setting in which location-dependent factors are mostly irrelevant; the audiences are quiet and the referees make hardly any judgments. Controlling for differences in chess skills, I found enhanced performance among players who were competing outside of their home countries. This finding was robust to additional controls such as age, sex, and skill momentum or game practice, and to the inclusion of individual or country fixed effects. This advantage, an approximately 2% increase in game outcome, suggests that traveling has a positive effect on performance.

Keywords: Home advantage; Chess; Cognitive performance; Travel; Sports (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:87:y:2021:i:c:s0167487021000635

DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2021.102431

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