We study the circumstances under which public pressure affects judging. We show that crowd pressure biases decisions in favor of the crowd for “subjective decisions” with respect to which the judge has more discretion, but not for “objective decisions.” The bias is strengthened after a judge's error against the crowd, and when errors are costlier to the crowd.

We use data about referees' decisions and errors from the Bundesliga. We exploit three regimes where, due to the introduction of Video Assistance Refereeing (VAR) and COVID-19, both crowd pressure and the likelihood of errors vary.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this content.