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Returns to education in professional football

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  • Böheim, René
  • Lackner, Mario

Abstract

After three years in college, football players face a trade-off between spending more time in college and pursuing a career in the National Football League (NFL). We analyze the salaries for rookies in the NFL and instrument the endogenous decision to enter the professional market with the month of birth (relative age effect). A player enjoys a 6 percent higher starting salary in the NFL for each additional year with the college team. The returns to education in professional sports are sizable and similar to returns to formal education.

Suggested Citation

  • Böheim, René & Lackner, Mario, 2012. "Returns to education in professional football," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(3), pages 326-328.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:114:y:2012:i:3:p:326-328
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2011.11.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2011. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 158-195, February.
    2. Kleibergen, Frank & Paap, Richard, 2006. "Generalized reduced rank tests using the singular value decomposition," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 97-126, July.
    3. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2008. "What makes a leader? Relative age and high school leadership," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 173-183, April.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    5. Rob Simmons & David Berri, 2008. "Race and the Evaluation of Signal Callers in the National Football League," IASE Conference Papers 0825, International Association of Sports Economists.
    6. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H.O. & Coburn, Jason & Rankins, Timothy, 2010. "Evaluating National Football League draft choices: The passing game," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 589-605, July.
    7. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
    8. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Markets: Cartel Behavior and Amateurism in College Sports," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 209-226, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Fumarco & Giambattista Rossi, 2015. "Relative Age Effect on Labor Market Outcomes for High Skilled Workers – Evidence from Soccer," Management Working Papers 9, Birkbeck Department of Management, revised Mar 2015.
    2. Tukiainen, Janne & Takalo, Tuomas & Hulkkonen, Topi, 2017. "Gender Specific Relative Age Effects in Politics and Football," Working Papers 94, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Fumarco, Luca & Gibbs, Benjamin & Jarvis, Jonathan & Rossi, Giambattista, 2016. "The Relative Age Effect Reversal among NHL Elite," MPRA Paper 75691, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    NFL; Returns to education; Ability bias; Labor markets in sports;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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