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The returns to scarce talent: footedness and player remuneration in European soccer

  • Alex Bryson
  • Bernd Frick
  • Rob Simmons

We investigate the salary returns to the ability to play football with both feet. The majority of footballers are predominantly right footed. Using two data sets, a cross-section of footballers in the five main European leagues and a panel of players in the German Bundesliga, we find robust evidence of a substantial salary premium for two-footed ability, even after controlling for available player performance measures. We assess how this premium varies across the salary distribution and by player position.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27784/
File Function: Open access version.
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 27784.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:27784
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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  1. 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.
  2. Idson, T. & Kahane, L.H., 1995. "Team Effects on Compensation : An Application to Salary Determinantion in the National Hokey League," Discussion Papers 1995_14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Relative Income Position and Performance: An Empirical Panel Analysis," Working Papers 2006.39, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Kevin Denny & Vincent O'Sullivan, 2006. "The economic consequences of being left-handed: some sinister results," IFS Working Papers W06/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Christopher S. Ruebeck & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Robert Moffitt, 2006. "Handedness and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 12387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rob Simmons & David Berri, 2009. "Gains from Specialization and Free Agency: The Story from the Gridiron," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 81-98, February.
  7. Bernd Frick & Robert Simmons, 2007. "The Impact of Managerial Quality on Organizational Performance: Evidence from German Soccer," Working Papers 0708, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  8. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-75, June.
  9. Egon Franck & Stephan NŸesch, 2008. "The Effect of Talent Disparity on Team Performance in Soccer," Working Papers 0021, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA), revised 2009.
  10. Benno Torgler & Sascha Schmidt, 2007. "What shapes player performance in soccer? Empirical findings from a panel analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(18), pages 2355-2369.
  11. Barton Hughes Hamilton, 1997. "Racial discrimination and professional basketball salaries in the 1990s," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 287-296.
  12. Erik E. Lehmann & Günther G. Schulze, 2007. "What does it take to be a star? The role of performance and the media for German soccer players," Discussion Paper Series 1, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Mar 2008.
  13. Barry Reilly & Robert Witt, 2007. "The Determinants of Base Pay and the Role of Race in Major League Soccer: Evidence from the 2007 League Season," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1907, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  14. Bernd Frick, 2007. "The Football Players' Labor Market: Empirical Evidence From The Major European Leagues," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(3), pages 422-446, 07.
  15. Caroline Elliott & Rob Simmons, 2008. "Determinants of UK Box Office Success: The Impact of Quality Signals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 93-111, September.
  16. 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.
  17. Kahn, Lawrence M, 1993. "Free Agency, Long-Term Contracts and Compensation in Major League Baseball: Estimates from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 157-64, February.
  18. Claudio Lucifora & Rob Simmons, 2003. "Superstar Effects in Sport: Evidence From Italian Soccer," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(1), pages 35-55, February.
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