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Experimental Effects of an Absent Crowd on Performances and Refereeing Decisions during COVID-19

Alex Bryson (), Peter Dolton (), J Reade (), Dominik Schreyer () and Carl Singleton ()
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Peter Dolton: University of Sussex

No 13578, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has induced worldwide natural experiments on the effects of crowds. We exploit one of these experiments currently taking place over several countries in almost identical settings: professional football matches played behind closed doors. We find large and statistically significant effects on the number of yellow cards issued by referees. Without a crowd, fewer cards were awarded to the away teams, reducing home advantage. These results have implications for the influence of social pressure and crowds on the neutrality of refereeing decisions.

Keywords: attendance; Coronavirus; COVID-19; home advantage; natural experiments; referee bias; social pressure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D91 L83 Z20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2020-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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Working Paper: Experimental effects of an absent crowd on performance and refereeing decisions during Covid-19 (2020) Downloads
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