Bryson, Alex Dolton, Peter Reade, J. James Schreyer, Dominik Singleton, Carl
Year of Publication:
IZA Discussion Papers No. 13578
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.
attendance Coronavirus COVID-19 home advantage natural experiments referee bias social pressure