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The Effect of Talent Disparity on Team Performance in Soccer

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  • Egon Franck

    ()
    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Stephan NŸesch

    ()
    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between talent disparity and team productivity based on panel data from German soccer teams. Holding average ability and unobserved team heterogeneity constant, we find evidence that the players selected to play on the competition team should be rather homogeneous regarding their playing talent. If, however, the team is defined at the preparatory stage, which includes all training activities, talent disparity turns out to be beneficial. In a first model, we analyze match-level data to test the talent composition effects of the fielded team on the final score of the game. In a second model, we include the reserve players as well and relate talent differences within the entire squad to the teamÕs (inverted) league standing at the end of the season as the ultimate measure of long-run team effectiveness. At the competition stage of team production, the gameÕs result depends on all team members performing at or above some threshold level of proficiency. At the preparatory stage of team production, however, aspects like mutual learning seem to be more important.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/rsd/CRSA_WPS/21_CRSA_full.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA) in its series Working Papers with number 0021.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision: 2009
Publication status: forthcoming in Journal of Economic Psychology
Handle: RePEc:rsd:wpaper:0021

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Keywords: Talent Disparity; Team Productivity; Sports Economics; Soccer;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. R Simmons & D J Berri, 2010. "Mixing the princes and the paupers: Pay and performance in the National Basketball Association," Working Papers 611523, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  2. Alex Bryson & Bernd Frick & Rob Simmons, 2009. "The returns to scarce talent: footedness and player remuneration in European soccer," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27784, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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