Cognitive Performance in Remote Work - Evidence from Professional Chess

Steffen Künn, Christian Seel, Dainis Zegners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional (offline) chess tournaments were prohibited and instead held online. We exploit this unique setting to assess the impact of remote–work policies on the cognitive performance of individuals. Using the artificial intelligence embodied in a powerful chess engine to assess the quality of chess moves and associated errors, we find a statistically and economically significant decrease in performance when an individual competes remotely versus offline in a face-to-face setting. The effect size decreases over time, suggesting an adaptation to the new remote setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberueab094
Number of pages29
JournalThe Economic Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021

JEL classifications

  • c72 - Noncooperative Games
  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"

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