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Migrating Football Players, Transfer Fees and Migration Controls


  • Harrie A. A Verbon


Since the famous Bosman ruling by the European Court of Justice in 1995 transfer fees for football players after moving to another club have become suspect as they are considered as an obstacle to the free movement of workers. However, in an unrestricted market free migration from football players will be Pareto efficient under special circumstances only. This paper shows that transfer fees can correct inefficient migration flows from small to large football leagues. Home-grown rules that prescribe that a certain proportion of the roster of players should be trained within the club are very blunt devices for restoring efficiency, and perform worse than transfer fee systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrie A. A Verbon, 2007. "Migrating Football Players, Transfer Fees and Migration Controls," CESifo Working Paper Series 2004, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. El-Hodiri, Mohamed & Quirk, James, 1971. "An Economic Model of a Professional Sports League," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1302-1319, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Robin Boadway, 2004. "The Theory and Practice of Equalization," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(1), pages 211-254.
    3. Feess, Eberhard & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2003. "Transfer fee regulations in European football," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 645-668, August.
    4. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-633, November.
    5. Eberhard Feess & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2003. "The Impact of Transfer Fees on Professional Sports: An Analysis of the New Transfer System for European Football," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 139-154, March.
    6. Stefan Szymanski & Stefan KÈsenne, 2004. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 165-177, March.
    7. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    8. Palomino, Frederic & Sakovics, Jozsef, 2004. "Inter-league competition for talent vs. competitive balance," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 783-797, June.
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