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Why football players may benefit from the ‘shadow of the transfer system’

Author

Listed:
  • Helmut Dietl

    ()

  • Egon Franck

    ()

  • Markus Lang

    ()

Abstract

The transfer system imposed by the football governing bodies on employment relations made sure that a player could not leave his current club and sign with another club without the current club's explicit consent. The 1995 Bosman judgement of the European Court of Justice declaring football players to free agents after expiration of their contracts and the 2001 intervention of the European Commission, which, among other things, limited contract durations in football, can be interpreted as the two major steps towards restricting the application of the transfer system. Based on a bargaining model with stochastic player productivity, we show that less restrictive transfer rules reallocate ex post bargaining power from players to clubs. This reallocation is efficient and in the ex ante self-interest of players. The right to charge transfer fees enables clubs to insure their players. The players, in turn, benefit by converting risky future income into riskless current income. Overall, player utility is higher under more than under less restrictive transfer rules.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang, 2008. "Why football players may benefit from the ‘shadow of the transfer system’," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 129-151, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:26:y:2008:i:2:p:129-151
    DOI: 10.1007/s10657-008-9059-5
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10657-008-9059-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eberhard Feess & Bernd Frick & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2004. "Legal Restrictions on Buyout Fees: Theory and Evidence from German Soccer," Diskussionsschriften dp0411, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    2. Scully, Gerald W, 1974. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 915-930, December.
    3. Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau & Diego Comin, 2005. "Testing Out Contractual Incompleteness: Evidence from Soccer," Departmental Working Papers 200501, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    4. Eberhard Feess & Gerd Mühlheußer, 2002. "Economic Consequences of Transfer Fee Regulations in European Football," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 221-237, May.
    5. Burguet, Roberto & Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1999. "Golden Cages for Showy Birds: Optimal Switching Costs in Labour Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2070, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Peter Antonioni & John Cubbin, 2000. "The Bosman Ruling and the Emergence of a Single Market in Soccer Talent," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 157-173, March.
    7. Feess, Eberhard & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2003. "Transfer fee regulations in European football," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 645-668, August.
    8. Bernd Frick & Gunnar Pietzner & Joachim Prinz, 2007. "Career Duration a Competitive Environment: The Labor Market for Soccer Players in Germany," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 429-442, Summer.
    9. repec:mes:jeciss:v:30:y:1996:i:4:p:1212-1216 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Helmut M. Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2012. "Salary Cap Regulation In Professional Team Sports," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 307-319, July.
    2. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2008. "Revenue Sharing, Reserve Clause and Salary Caps in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Working Papers 0100, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised 2009.
    3. Helmut Dietl, 2010. "Besonderheiten des Sports ‐ Was rechtfertigt eine "eigene Ökonomik"?," Working Papers 0040, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
    4. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2010. "Organizational Differences between U.S. Major Leagues and European Leagues: Implications for Salary Caps," Working Papers 0122, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    5. Markus LANG & Alexander RATHKE & Marco RUNKEL, 2010. "The Economic Consequences Of Foreigner Rules In National Sports Leagues," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 31, pages 47-64.
    6. Jue-Shyan Wang & Wei-Hsin Wang & Yen-Chun Liao, 2014. "The Impact of Free Agency on Players¡¯ Compensation," Research in World Economy, Research in World Economy, Sciedu Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1-12, March.
    7. Helmut Dietl & Rodney Fort & Markus Lang, 2011. "International Sports League Comparisons," Working Papers 0042, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
    8. Miriam Marcén, 2016. "The Bosman ruling and the presence of native football players in their home league: the Spanish case," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 209-235, October.
    9. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Martin Grossmann & Markus Lang, 2009. "Contest Theory and its Applications in Sports," Working Papers 0029, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
    10. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1091-1103 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour contracts; Transfer restrictions; Transfer fees; Bosman and Monti transfer system; FIFA regulations; D86; J49; L83;

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J49 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Other
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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