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Team performance and audience: experimental evidence from the football sector

Massimiliano Ferraresi () and Gianluca Gucciardi ()
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Massimiliano Ferraresi: European Commission Joint Research Centre

Working papers from Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica

Abstract: We exploit the natural experimental setting provided by the Covid-19 lockdown to analyse how performance is affected by a friendly audience. Specifically, we use data on all football matches in the top-level competitions across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom over the 2019/2020 season. We compare the difference between the number of points gained by teams playing at home and teams competing away before the Covid-19 outbreak, when supporters could attend any match, with the same difference after the lockdown, when all matches took place behind closed doors. We find that the performance of the home team is halved when stadiums are empty, with this effect being more marked for teams whose attendance rate was very high and for those that do not have international experience. Taken together, these results may play a key role in the design of the future workplace as ‘smart working’—an organisational model where the perception of being observed is less pronounced—is becoming increasingly important.

Keywords: team performance; home advantage; choking; lockdown; natural experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J2 D8 M54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-exp and nep-spo
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ipu:wpaper:94

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