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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-62217

Bartling, Björn; Brandes, L; Schunk, Daniel (2012). Expectations as reference points: field evidence from experienced subjects in a competitive, high-stakes environment. Working paper series / Department of Economics 73, University of Zurich.



We show that professional soccer players exhibit reference-dependent behavior during matches. Controlling for the state of the match and for unobserved heterogeneity, we show on a minute-by-minute basis that a player breaches the rules of the game, measured by the referee’s assignment of cards, with a significantly higher probability if his team is behind the expected match outcome, measured by pre-play betting odds of large professional bookmakers. We derive these results in two independent data sets, one from ten seasons of the German Bundesliga, the other from eight seasons the English Premier League, each with more than half a million minutes of play.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:D03, D81, D84, L83
Uncontrolled Keywords:Reference points, expectations, experience, high stakes, competition
Date:May 2012
Deposited On:09 May 2012 13:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:48
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:20
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp073.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php

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