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Fading Shooting Stars – The Relative Age Effect, Misallocation of Talent, and Returns to Training in German Elite Youth Soccer

Author

Listed:
  • Lukas Tohoff

    (Bocconi University, Economics and Social Sciences)

  • Mario Mechtel

    (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre)

Abstract

This paper analyses the Relative Age Effect (RAE) in German elite youth soccer academies. We examine the efficiency of talent selection and the returns to training. Our results indicate a strong effect of players’ birth dates on their probability of getting selected – and, thus, a waste of talent. Using data on 2,382 former elite youth players and their later market values, we find that clubs could generate 30.3 to 77.2% higher market values when eliminating the RAE. Our findings emphasize that distinguishing between current and potential performance levels is crucial for the efficient allocation of talent in sports and society

Suggested Citation

  • Lukas Tohoff & Mario Mechtel, 2022. "Fading Shooting Stars – The Relative Age Effect, Misallocation of Talent, and Returns to Training in German Elite Youth Soccer," Working Paper Series in Economics 413, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:413
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative age effect; market values; misallocation of talent; returns to training; selection of talent; elite youth soccer;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • Z22 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Labor Issues
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Training
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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