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When drains and gains coincide: Migration and international football performance

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  • Berlinschi, Ruxanda
  • Schokkaert, Jeroen
  • Swinnen, Johan

Abstract

We analyze the impact of human capital formation through migration on performance by studying the impact of football players' migration to foreign clubs on their origin countries' international football performance. In our model, migration to foreign clubs allows players to improve their skills. Its impact on national team performance is positive and increasing with the difference in quality between foreign and home country clubs. To test this prediction, we have collected information on the club of employment of national team players for most countries in the world. We have constructed an original migration index, weighing each emigrant player by the quality of the foreign club employing him. We find strong and robust support for the theoretical prediction that migration of national team players improves international football performance, particularly for countries with lower quality football clubs.

Suggested Citation

  • Berlinschi, Ruxanda & Schokkaert, Jeroen & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "When drains and gains coincide: Migration and international football performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:21:y:2013:i:c:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.12.006
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    2. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2013. "Globalized Market for Talents and Inequality: What Can Be Learnt from European Football?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1034, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Yamamura, Eiji, 2014. "Is body mass human capital in sumo? Outcome of globalization and formation of human capital in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 53-71.
    4. Melanie Krause & Stefan Szymanski, 2017. "Convergence vs. the middle income trap: The case of global soccer," Working Papers 453, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2013. "Globalized Market for Talents and Inequality: What Can Be Learnt from European Football?," Economic Research Papers 270425, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    6. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Olsson, Martin & Persson, Lars, 2016. "Talent Development and Labour Market Integration: The Case of EU Football," Working Paper Series 1126, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 14 Mar 2018.
    7. Raffaele Poli, 2014. "International migration of professional footballers," Chapters, in: John Goddard & Peter Sloane (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 14, pages 227-237, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. G. J. Allan & J. Moffat, 2014. "Muscle drain versus brain gain in association football: technology transfer through player emigration and manager immigration," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(7), pages 490-493, May.
    9. Jie Gong & Ang Sun & Zhichao Wei, 2018. "Choosing the Pond: On-the-Job Experience and Long-Run Career Outcomes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(2), pages 860-872, February.
    10. Zaytseva, I., 2018. "Social Capital as a Factor of Sport Achievements: The Case of National Football Teams," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 34-60.
    11. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Is body mass human capital in sports? Outcome of globalization of sumo wrestling and generation of human capital in Japan," MPRA Paper 44692, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Roberto Gásquez & Vicente Royuela, 2016. "The Determinants of International Football Success: A Panel Data Analysis of the Elo Rating," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 97(2), pages 125-141, June.
    13. Bernd Frick & Rob Simmons, 2014. "The footballers’ labour market after the Bosman ruling," Chapters, in: John Goddard & Peter Sloane (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 13, pages 203-226, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Marcén, Miriam, 2014. "The impact of the Bosman ruling on the market for native soccer players," MPRA Paper 61013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2017. "Does talent migration increase inequality? A quantitative assessment in football labour market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 150-166.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Human capital; International football performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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