Accessibility navigation

Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias

Reade, J. J. ORCID:, Schreyer, D. and Singleton, C. ORCID: (2022) Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias. Economic Inquiry, 60 (3). pp. 1416-1436. ISSN 1465-7295

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/ecin.13063


We use a series of historical natural experiments in association football to test whether social pressure from a home stadium crowd affected behaviour and outcomes. The standout effect of an empty stadium was that referees cautioned visiting players less often, by over a third of a yellow card per match or once for every twenty-two fouls committed. Stadium crowds caused referees to favour the home team in their decision making. Empty stadiums appear to have reduced the overall home advantage in the final outcomes of football matches, but we cannot statistically reject no effect.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:101715
Uncontrolled Keywords:Home Advantage, Referee Bias, Social Pressure, Attendance, Natural Experiments, Coronavirus


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation