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When Drains and Gains Coincide: Migration and International Football Performance

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  • Ruxanda Berlinschi
  • Jeroen Schokkaert
  • Johan F.M. Swinnen

Abstract

We analyze the effects of football player migration to foreign leagues on the performance of their home country national teams. We provide a theoretical model predicting a positive effect of migration on international football performance due to superior skills acquired by players choosing to migrate to foreign leagues. We test this prediction using recent cross country data on international football performance. In order to accurately measure the effect of skill acquisitions by migrating players, we construct a weighted migration index that takes into account the quality of the foreign league and the division in which national team players are employed. We find strong and robust support for the prediction that migration of players to foreign leagues improves international football performance of their home countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruxanda Berlinschi & Jeroen Schokkaert & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2010. "When Drains and Gains Coincide: Migration and International Football Performance," LICOS Discussion Papers 26510, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:26510
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Gásquez & Vicente Royuela, 2014. "Is Football an Indicator of Development at the International Level?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 827-848, July.
    2. Jeroen Schokkaert & Johan Swinnen, 2016. "Uncertainty of Outcome Is Higher in the Champions League Than in the European Cup," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 17(2), pages 115-147, February.
    3. Vicente Royuela & Roberto Gásquez, 2019. "On the Influence of Foreign Players on the Success of Football Clubs," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 20(5), pages 718-741, June.
    4. Giacomo De Luca & Jeroen Schokkaert & Johan Swinnen, 2015. "Cultural Differences, Assimilation, and Behavior," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 16(5), pages 508-530, June.
    5. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2013. "Globalized Market for Talents and Inequality: What Can Be Learnt from European Football?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1034, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    6. Yamamura, Eiji, 2014. "Is body mass human capital in sumo? Outcome of globalization and formation of human capital in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 53-71.
    7. Brunello, Giorgio & Yamamura, Eiji, 2023. "Desperately Seeking a Japanese Yokozuna," IZA Discussion Papers 16536, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Melanie Krause & Stefan Szymanski, 2019. "Convergence versus the middle-income trap: the case of global soccer," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(27), pages 2980-2999, June.
    9. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2013. "Globalized Market for Talents and Inequality: What Can Be Learnt from European Football?," Economic Research Papers 270425, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    10. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Olsson, Martin & Persson, Lars, 2016. "Talent Development and Labour Market Integration: The Case of EU Football," Working Paper Series 1126, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 14 Mar 2018.
    11. Peter Omondi-Ochieng, 2018. "Gold Cup: human resources as sources of competitive advantage and superior performance," Evidence-based HRM, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 6(3), pages 242-254, May.
    12. Raffaele Poli, 2014. "International migration of professional footballers," Chapters, in: John Goddard & Peter Sloane (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 14, pages 227-237, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Pehr‐Johan Norbäck & Martin Olsson & Lars Persson, 2021. "Talent development and labour market integration in European football," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 367-408, February.
    14. G. J. Allan & J. Moffat, 2014. "Muscle drain versus brain gain in association football: technology transfer through player emigration and manager immigration," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(7), pages 490-493, May.
    15. Jie Gong & Ang Sun & Zhichao Wei, 2018. "Choosing the Pond: On-the-Job Experience and Long-Run Career Outcomes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(2), pages 860-872, February.
    16. Hakan Yilmazkuday, 2022. "Protectionism, Competitiveness and Inequality: Cross-Country Evidence from Soccer," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 171-192, April.
    17. Zaytseva, I., 2018. "Social Capital as a Factor of Sport Achievements: The Case of National Football Teams," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 34-60.
    18. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Is body mass human capital in sports? Outcome of globalization of sumo wrestling and generation of human capital in Japan," MPRA Paper 44692, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Roberto Gásquez & Vicente Royuela, 2016. "The Determinants of International Football Success: A Panel Data Analysis of the Elo Rating," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 97(2), pages 125-141, June.
    20. David Pastoriza & Jean-François Plante & Nadjib Lakhlef, 2021. "Are Foreigners at Disadvantage in a Global Labor Market?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 22(6), pages 615-638, August.
    21. Bernd Frick & Rob Simmons, 2014. "The footballers’ labour market after the Bosman ruling," Chapters, in: John Goddard & Peter Sloane (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 13, pages 203-226, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Andy Stevens, 2022. "John Blundell's cricket blueprint revisited," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 144-160, February.
    23. Marcén, Miriam, 2014. "The impact of the Bosman ruling on the market for native soccer players," MPRA Paper 61013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    24. Frank Daumann & Florian Follert & Daniel Hamacher & Lasse Plöhn, 2023. "The early bird catches the worm: The impact of first‐mover advantage on long‐term elite team sport success," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 44(3), pages 1465-1475, April.
    25. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2017. "Does talent migration increase inequality? A quantitative assessment in football labour market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 150-166.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Muscle Drain; International Football Performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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