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Beautiful Game TheoryHow Soccer Can Help Economics$
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Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691144023

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691144023.001.0001

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From Argentina Without Emotions

From Argentina Without Emotions

(p.164) 10 From Argentina Without Emotions
Beautiful Game Theory

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on psychological pressure in a competitive environment. It tests the hypothesis that if incentives become sufficiently large, the performance of professional players should become much less subject to the effects of anxiety, distress, and other pressures, perhaps even entirely free from psychological biases. This hypothesis is studied by taking advantage of a unique natural experiment in Argentina that was run for only one season. In the season 1988–89, the Argentine league championship decided to experiment with an unusual point system: After each drawn (tied) match, there would be a penalty shoot-out to determine which team got a bonus point.

Keywords:   psychological pressure, competition, professional athletes, soccer players, penalty shoot-out, Argentina, psychological bias, emotional response

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