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Relative Age Effect on Labor Market Outcomes for High Skilled Workers – Evidence from Soccer

  • Luca Fumarco
  • Giambattista Rossi

    (Department of Management, Birkbeck College University of London)

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    In sport and education contexts, children are divided into age-groups which are arbitrary constructions based on the admission dates. This age-group system is thought to determine differences in maturity between pupils within the same group, that is, relative age (RA). In turn, these within-age-group maturity differences produce performance gaps, that is, relative age effects (RAE), which might persist and affect the labor market outcome. I analyze the RAE on labor market outcomes using a unique dataset providing information on a particular group of high skilled workers: soccer players in the Italian major soccer league. In line with previous studies, evidence on the existence of RAE in terms of representativeness is found, meaning that players born relatively early in the age-group are over-represented, while players born relatively late are under-represented, even accounting for specific population trends. Moreover, players born relatively late in the age-group receive lower gross wages than players born relatively early. This wage gap seems to increase with age and in the quantile of the wage distribution.

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    Paper provided by Birkbeck Department of Management in its series Management Working Papers with number 9.

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    Length: 51 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2015
    Date of revision: Mar 2015
    Publication status: Published on Birkbeck Deparment of Management web site, March 2015, pages 1-51
    Handle: RePEc:img:wpaper:9
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