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Talent And/Or Popularity: What Does It Take To Be A Superstar?


We show that both talent and popularity significantly contribute to stars’ market values in German soccer. The talent-versus-popularity controversy on the sources of stardom goes back to Rosen (1981) and Adler (1985). All attempts to resolve the controversy empirically face the difficulty of accurately identifying talent. In professional sports, rank-order tournaments help in ascertaining talent. Analyzing a team production setting, we make use of a large number of performance indicators to estimate a player’s talent according to his contribution to the team’s winning chances.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 202-216

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:50:y:2012:i:1:p:202-216
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  1. John Fitzgerald & Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1998. "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 251-299.
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  3. Connolly, Marie & Krueger, Alan B., 2006. "Rockonomics: The Economics of Popular Music," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
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  8. O'Connell, Philip J. & Russell, Helen & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Human Resources," Book Chapters, in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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  10. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S.Frey, 2008. "Do Employees Care About Their Relative Position? Behavioural Evidence Focusing on Performance," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 231, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, revised 16 Jun 2008.
  11. David J. Berri, 1999. "Who is 'most valuable'? Measuring the player's production of wins in the National Basketball Association," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(8), pages 411-427.
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  15. Lex Borghans & Loek Groot, 1998. "Superstardom and Monopolistic Power: Why Media Stars Earn More Than Their Marginal Contribution to Welfare," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(3), pages 546-, September.
  16. repec:clu:wpaper:1995_14 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Erik E. Lehmann & Günther G. Schulze, 2007. "What does it take to be a star? The role of performance and the media for German soccer players," Discussion Paper Series 1, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Mar 2008.
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