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Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment

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dc.contributor.author Apesteguia, Jose
dc.contributor.author Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio
dc.contributor.other Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
dc.date.accessioned 2017-07-26T12:07:50Z
dc.date.available 2017-07-26T12:07:50Z
dc.date.issued 2008-10-01
dc.identifier https://econ-papers.upf.edu/ca/paper.php?id=1116
dc.identifier.citation American Economic Review, 100(5): 2548-2564, December 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/589
dc.description.abstract Much like cognitive abilities, emotional skills can have major effects on perfor mance and economic outcomes. This paper studies the behavior of professional subjects involved in a dynamic competition in their own natural environment. The setting is a penalty shoot-out in soccer where two teams compete in a tournament framework taking turns in a sequence of five penalty kicks each. As the kicking order is determined by the random outcome of a coin flip, the treatment and control groups are determined via explicit randomization. Therefore, absent any psychological effects, both teams should have the same probability of winning regardless of the kicking order. Yet, we find a systematic first-kicker advantage. Using data on 2,731 penalty kicks from 262 shoot-outs for a three decade period, we find that teams kicking first win the penalty shoot-out 60.5% of the time. A dynamic panel data analysis shows that the psychological mechanism underlying this result arises from the asymmetry in the partial score. As most kicks are scored, kicking first typically means having the opportunity to lead in the partial score, whereas kicking second typically means lagging in the score and having the opportunity to, at most, get even. Having a worse prospect than the opponent hinders subjects' performance. Further, we also find that professionals are self-aware of their own psychological effects. When a recent change in regulations gives winners of the coin toss the chance to choose the kicking order, they rationally react to it by systematically choosing to kick first. A survey of professional players reveals that when asked to explain why they prefer to kick first, they precisely identify the psychological mechanism for which we find empirical support in the data: they want to lead in the score in order to put pressure on the opponent.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.relation.ispartofseries Economics and Business Working Papers Series; 1116
dc.rights L'accés als continguts d'aquest document queda condicionat a l'acceptació de les condicions d'ús establertes per la següent llicència Creative Commons
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/es/
dc.title Psychological pressure in competitive environments: Evidence from a randomized natural experiment
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/workingPaper
dc.date.modified 2017-07-23T02:12:09Z
dc.subject.keyword leex
dc.subject.keyword Microeconomics
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess


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