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Revisiting loss aversion: Evidence from professional tennis

Anbarci, N.; Arin, K.P.; Kuhlenkasper, T.; Zenker, C.

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K.P. Arin

T. Kuhlenkasper

C. Zenker


We provide further evidence for the existence of loss aversion in a high-stakes context: professional tennis. Our contribution to the literature is threefold: (1) We provide a theoretical framework as a basis of our investigation, (2) we test the predictions of our model by using a novel dataset for both male and female players from the Dubai Tennis Championships 2013 that not only includes the serve speed but also the serve location, and (3) we employ semiparametric Additive Mixed Models to include smooth one-, two- and three-dimensional interaction effects for modelling the serve speed and placement. Our results show that when behind in score players put more effort into the serve than when they are ahead. We also document that players take more risks in the final. Finally, we detect remarkable gender differences with respect to the incidence of loss aversion within a game versus within a set.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 2, 2017
Publication Date Dec 2, 2017
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jun 2, 2019
Journal Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Print ISSN 0167-2681
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 153
Pages 1-18
Public URL


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