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The Effect of Talent Disparity on Team Performance in Soccer

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  • Egon Franck

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Stephan Nüesch

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between talent disparity and team productivity based on panel data from German soccer teams. Holding average ability and unobserved team heterogeneity constant, we find evidence that the players selected to play on the competition team should be rather homogeneous regarding their playing talent. If, however, the team is defined at the preparatory stage, which includes all training activities, talent disparity turns out to be beneficial. In a first model, we analyze match-level data to test the talent composition effects of the fielded team on the final score of the game. In a second model, we include the reserve players as well and relate talent differences within the entire squad to the teamÕs (inverted) league standing at the end of the season as the ultimate measure of long-run team effectiveness. At the competition stage of team production, the gameÕs result depends on all team members performing at or above some threshold level of proficiency. At the preparatory stage of team production, however, aspects like mutual learning seem to be more important.

Suggested Citation

  • Egon Franck & Stephan Nüesch, 2008. "The Effect of Talent Disparity on Team Performance in Soccer," Working Papers 0087, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:wpaper:0087
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    Cited by:

    1. Brinja Meiseberg, 2014. "Trust the artist versus trust the tale: performance implications of talent and self-marketing in folk music," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(1), pages 9-42, February.
    2. Alex Bryson & Bernd Frick & Rob Simmons, 2009. "The Returns to Scarce Talent: Footedness and Player Remuneration in European Soccer," CEP Discussion Papers dp0948, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Simmons, Rob & Berri, David J., 2011. "Mixing the princes and the paupers: Pay and performance in the National Basketball Association," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 381-388, June.
    4. Alex Bryson & Bernd Frick & Rob Simmons, 2009. "The Returns to Scarce Talent: Footedness and Player Remuneration in European Soccer," CEP Discussion Papers dp0948, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Talent Disparity; Team Productivity; Sports Economics; Soccer;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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