This paper examines how within-match variation in incentives affects the performance of darts players. The game of darts offers an attractive naturally occurring research setting, because performance can be observed at the individual level and without obscuring effects of risk considerations and behavior of others. We analyze four data sets covering a total of 29,381 darts matches of professional, amateur, and youth players. We find that amateur and youth players display a sizable performance decrease at decisive moments. Professional players appear less susceptible of such choking under pressure. Our results speak to a growing literature on the limits of increasing incentives as a recipe for better performance.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Choking under pressure, Darts, Incentives, Performance pressure
JEL Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles (jel D01), Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving (jel D91)
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2019.10.026, hdl.handle.net/1765/122646
Journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Citation
Klein Teeselink, B. (Bouke), Potter van Loon, R.J.D, van den Assem, M.J, & van Dolder, D. (2019). Incentives, performance and choking in darts. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2019.10.026