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The Stairways to Heaven: A Model of Career Choice in Sports and Games, with an Application to Chess

  • Kenn Ariga

    (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)

  • Giorgio Brunello

    (University of Padova, CESifo and IZA)

  • Roki Iwahashi

    (University of the Ryukyus)

  • Lorenzo Rocco

    (University of Padova)

We model individual careers in sports and games from initial entry to eventual exit or success as a discrete - choice, finite - horizon optimization problem. We apply this model to the international game of chess and study cross - country differences in the relative success of players. While we find no evidence that the players in our sample from the ex-Warsaw Pact are more talented than European and American players, there is evidence that they face lower training costs.

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Paper provided by Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research in its series KIER Working Papers with number 646.

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Length: 60pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kyo:wpaper:646
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  1. Peter Groothuis & James Richard Hill & Timothy Perri, 2009. "The dilemma of choosing talent: Michael Jordans are hard to find," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3193-3198.
  2. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  3. M. L. Weitzman & K. Roberts, 1979. "Funding Criteria for Research, Development and Exploration Projects," Working papers 234, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1988. "The Economics of Rising Stars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 155-66, March.
  5. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, 05.
  6. Brunello, Giorgio & Giannini, Massimo & Ariga, Kenn, 2004. "The Optimal Timing of School Tracking," IZA Discussion Papers 995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
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