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

Author

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  • Bryson, Alex
  • Frick, Bernd
  • Simmons, Rob

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryson, Alex & Frick, Bernd & Simmons, Rob, 2009. "The returns to scarce talent: footedness and player remuneration in European soccer," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27784, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:27784
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27784/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Claudio Lucifora & Rob Simmons, 2003. "Superstar Effects in Sport," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(1), pages 35-55, February.
    2. Barton Hughes Hamilton, 1997. "Racial discrimination and professional basketball salaries in the 1990s," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 287-296.
    3. Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Relative Income Position And Performance: An Empirical Panel Analysis," IEW - Working Papers 268, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. 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.
    5. Rob Simmons & David Berri, 2009. "Gains from Specialization and Free Agency: The Story from the Gridiron," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 34(1), pages 81-98, February.
    6. Bernd Frick & Robert Simmons, 2008. "The impact of managerial quality on organizational performance: evidence from German soccer," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 593-600.
    7. Christopher S. Ruebeck & Joseph E. Harrington, Jr & Robert Moffitt, 1997. "Handedness and Earnings," Economics Working Paper Archive 533, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2004.
    8. Kevin Denny & Vincent O’ Sullivan, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Being Left-Handed: Some Sinister Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
    9. Idson, Todd L & Kahane, Leo H, 2000. "Team Effects on Compensation: An Application to Salary Determination in the National Hockey League," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(2), pages 345-357, April.
    10. Caroline Elliott & Rob Simmons, 2008. "Determinants of UK Box Office Success: The Impact of Quality Signals," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 33(2), pages 93-111, September.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, May.
    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, July.
    15. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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 157-164, February.
    19. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oulton, Nicholas & Rincon-Aznar, Ana, 2009. "Rates of return and alternative measures of capital input: 14 countries and 10 branches, 1971-2005," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28687, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Sila, Urban, 2009. "Can family-support policies help explain differences in working hours across countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28684, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Salary; two-footedness; premium;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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