Decision making and underperformance in competitive environments: evidence from the National Hockey League

Kolev, Gueorgui, Pina, Gonçalo and Todeschini, Federico (2015) Decision making and underperformance in competitive environments: evidence from the National Hockey League. Kyklos, 68 (1) . pp. 65-80. ISSN 0023-5962 [Article] (doi:10.1111/kykl.12073)

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We find evidence of suboptimal decisions leading to underperformance in a policy experiment where two teams of professionals compete in a tournament (National Hockey League shootout) performing a task (penalty shot) sequentially. Before an exogenous policy change, home teams had to perform the task second in the sequence. After the policy change, home teams were given the choice to lead or to follow in the sequence. Home teams should move first only when this is optimal, and this should lead them to winning the tournament more often. We find that after given the choice, home teams most of the time choose to move first in the sequence, and this results in a lower winning frequency for them. Contrary to what economic theory would predict, we find that an expanded choice set can lead to worse outcomes for the agents.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published version is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License © 2015 The Authors Kyklos: International Review of Social Sciences Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Keywords (uncontrolled): Performance under pressure, National Hockey League shootouts
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
Item ID: 14528
Notes on copyright: Final Accepted version: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kolev, G. I., Pina, G. and Todeschini, F. (2015), Decision Making and Underperformance in Competitive Environments. Kyklos, 68: 65-80. doi:10.1111/kykl.12073, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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Depositing User: Gueorgui Kolev
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2015 14:41
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 23:00

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