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Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19

Bryson, A; Dolton, P; Reade, JJ; Schreyer, D; Singleton, C; (2020) Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19. Economics Letters , Article 109664. 10.1016/j.econlet.2020.109664. (In press).

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Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic has induced worldwide natural experiments on the effects of crowds. We exploit one of these experiments that took place over several countries in almost identical settings: professional football matches played behind closed doors within the 2019/20 league seasons. 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 decisions.

Type: Article
Title: Causal effects of an absent crowd on performances and refereeing decisions during Covid-19
DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2020.109664
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2020.109664
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115454
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