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Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The Iron Curtain and Referee Bias in International Football
Author(s): Dagaev, Dmitry
Paklina, Sofia
Reade, J James
Singleton, Carl
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Keywords: home advantage
social pressure
international relations
sports economics
Issue Date: Jan-2024
Date Deposited: 9-Jan-2024
Citation: Dagaev D, Paklina S, Reade JJ & Singleton C (2024) The Iron Curtain and Referee Bias in International Football. <i>Journal of Sports Economics</i>, 25 (1), pp. 126-151.
Abstract: Using the assignment of referees to European international association football matches played between 2002 and 2016, we ask whether judgments were biased according to the legacy of the Cold War. We find that referees from post-communist states favored teams from non-communist states, but there was no evidence of favoritism in the other direction. This out-group bias of referees born behind the Iron Curtain was statistically significant for relatively less important and more subjective decisions, namely the awarding of yellow cards for foul play. The bias was particularly large among referees from the former Soviet Union. It has also diminished over time, perhaps due to increased professionalism in European refereeing, or because memories of the Cold War era have diminished among active referees.
DOI Link: 10.1177/15270025231206470
Rights: Dagaev, D., Paklina, S., Reade, J. J., & Singleton, C. (2024). The Iron Curtain and Referee Bias in International Football. Journal of Sports Economics, 25(1), 126-151. Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. DOI:
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