Winning, Losing and Competitive Balance
Edited by Plácido Rodríguez, Stefan Kesenne and Brad R. Humphreys
Chapter 4: Game, set, match and loss aversion in tennis
Loss aversion predicts that individuals adopt strategies that are more risky when losing and less risky when winning. To test this theory, we build upon work that examined a single tennis tournament and found that male and female tennis players exhibit loss aversion differently. Our data consists of matches played in the four Grand Slam events for both male and female professional tennis. Using this data, we fail to find evidence of behaviour consistent with the predictions of loss aversion for both men and women. We conclude with a discussion as to why that might be the case.
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