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Biased Impartiality Among National Hockey League Referees

Michael Lopez () and Kevin Snyder ()
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Michael Lopez: Brown University
Kevin Snyder: Southern New Hampshire University

International Journal of Sport Finance, 2013, vol. 8, issue 3, 208-223

Abstract: This paper builds an economic model of referee behavior in the National Hockey League using period-specific, in-game data. Recognizing that referees are influenced by a desire for perceived fairness, this model isolates situations where a referee is more likely to call a penalty on one team. While prior research has focused on a systematic bias in favor of the home team, we find that referee bias also depends upon game-specific conditions that incentivize an evening of penalty calls. Refereeing games in this fashion maintains the integrity of the game, thus benefiting spectator perceptions and opportunities for financial returns.

Keywords: biased impartiality; National Hockey League; referees (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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International Journal of Sport Finance is currently edited by Arne Feddersen, Babatunde Buraimo, Joachim Prinz and Jane Ruseski

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