Domestic violence and football in Glasgow: are reference points relevant?

Alexander Dickson, Colin Jennings, Gary Koop

Research output: Working paper


Much research suggests that sporting events can trigger domestic vio-
lence with recent evidence suggesting that pre-match expectations (which
can be interpreted as reference points) play an especially important role in
this relationship. In particular, unexpectedly disappointing results have
been associated with large increases in domestic violence. This paper con-
tributes to this literature using a new data set containing every domestic
violence incident in Glasgow over a period of more than eight years. We
nd that Old Firm matches, where Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers
play, are associated with large increases in domestic violence (regardless
of the timing or the outcome of the match). Non-Old Firm matches tend
to have little impact on domestic violence. Furthermore, we nd little evi-
dence for the importance of reference points. Matches with disappointing
outcomes, relative to pre-match expectations, are found to be associated
with unusual increases in domestic violence only in a very limited set of
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • domestic abuse
  • scottish football
  • old firm
  • reference points
  • loss aversion
  • domestic violence
  • glasgow
  • football


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