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The Rationality of Under-employing the Best-performing Soccer Players

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  • Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio
  • Francesc Pujol

Abstract

This paper analyses the influence of sport performance (productivity) and other variables measuring the economic contribution of soccer players, upon the coach's decision of selecting a particular player. Using as dependent variable the proportion of time that individuals play in the Spanish professional soccer league, the paper concludes that players' economic market value does significantly affect the coach's choice, revealing the existence of other aims different from maximizing sport performance. We also examine the type of discrimination associated with lower chances of playing, which leads to smaller earnings and poorer career opportunities. The empirical evidence does not support discrimination due to nationality. Copyright 2009 CEIS, Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio & Francesc Pujol, 2009. "The Rationality of Under-employing the Best-performing Soccer Players," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(3), pages 397-419, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:23:y:2009:i:3:p:397-419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Walter C. Neale, 1964. "The Peculiar Economics of Professional Sports," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-14.
    2. Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio & Stefan Szymanski, 2009. "Goal! Profit Maximization Versus Win Maximization in Soccer," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 34(1), pages 45-68, February.
    3. Gerald W. Scully, 2004. "Player salary share and the distribution of player earnings," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 77-86.
    4. Dennis Wilson & Yung-Hsiang Ying, 2003. "Nationality preferences for labour in the international football industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(14), pages 1551-1559.
    5. Scully, Gerald W, 1974. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 915-930, December.
    6. Stefan Szymanski, 2000. "A Market Test for Discrimination in the English Professional Soccer Leagues," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 590-603, June.
    7. Preston, Ian & Szymanski, Stefan, 2000. "Racial Discrimination in English Football," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(4), pages 342-363, September.
    8. Stefan Szymanski & Ron Smith, 1997. "The English Football Industry: profit, performance and industrial structure," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 135-153.
    9. Guido Ascari & Philippe Gagnepain, 2006. "Spanish Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 7(1), pages 76-89, February.
    10. Sloane, Peter J, 1971. "The Economics of Professional Football: The Football Club as a Utility Maximiser," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 18(2), pages 121-146, June.
    11. McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 2001. "Why do black basketball players work more for less money?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 201-219, February.
    12. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    13. Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio & Francesc Pujol, 2007. "Hidden monopsony rents in winner-take-all markets-sport and economic contribution of Spanish soccer players," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 57-70.
    14. Bodvarsson, Orn B. & Partridge, Mark D., 2001. "A supply and demand model of co-worker, employer and customer discrimination," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 389-416, June.
    15. Thomas Hoehn & Stefan Szymanski, 1999. "The Americanization of European football," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 203-240, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lionel Page & Markus Schaffner & Marie Beigelman, 2016. "Striking strikers. A case of player mispricing in Association Football," QuBE Working Papers 043, QUT Business School.
    2. Bridgewater, Sue & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Substitution and complementarity between managers and subordinates: Evidence from British football," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 275-286, June.

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