IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rdg/emxxdp/em-dp2020-04.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Extreme wages, performance and superstars in a market for footballers

Author

Listed:
  • Rachel Scarfe

    () (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh)

  • Carl Singleton

    () (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

  • Paul Telemo

    () (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh)

Abstract

We study the determinants of superstar wage effects, asking whether productivity or popularity-based explanations are more appropriate. We use longitudinal wage and performance data for workers (players) and firms (teams) from a particular market for sports talent: Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States. We find evidence that the top earners, whose annual salaries are mostly not accounted for by their past MLS performances, when compared alongside other footballers, are paid more because they attract significantly higher stadium attendances and thus revenues. There is no evidence that higher residual salary spending by the teams affects their relative performance in football terms, or that the amounts the teams spend on actual talent affect attendances. Taken together, these results suggest that a popularity-based explanation of superstar wage effects is appropriate among the top earners in this labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Scarfe & Carl Singleton & Paul Telemo, 2020. "Extreme wages, performance and superstars in a market for footballers," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-04, Department of Economics, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2020-04
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/economics/emdp202004.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven N. Kaplan & Joshua Rauh, 2013. "It's the Market: The Broad-Based Rise in the Return to Top Talent," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 35-56, Summer.
    2. David Paton & Andrew Cooke, 2005. "Attendance at County Cricket," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(1), pages 24-45, February.
    3. Egon Franck & Stephan Nüesch, 2012. "Talent And/Or Popularity: What Does It Take To Be A Superstar?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 202-216, January.
    4. Adler, Moshe, 1985. "Stardom and Talent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 208-212, March.
    5. Leif Brandes & Egon Franck & Stephan Nuesch, 2006. "Local Heroes and Superstars - An Empirical Analysis of Star Attraction in German Soccer," Working Papers 0046, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised 2007.
    6. Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "The Economics of Real Superstars: The Market for Rock Concerts in the Material World," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
    7. Russell Ormiston, 2014. "Attendance Effects of Star Pitchers in Major League Baseball," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 15(4), pages 338-364, August.
    8. Wen-Jhan Jane, 2016. "The Effect of Star Quality on Attendance Demand," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 17(4), pages 396-417, May.
    9. Leif Brandes & Egon Franck & Stephan Nüesch, 2008. "Local Heroes and Superstars," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 9(3), pages 266-286, June.
    10. Marko Terviö, 2009. "Superstars and Mediocrities: Market Failure in the Discovery of Talent -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 829-850.
    11. Claudio Lucifora & Rob Simmons, 2003. "Superstar Effects in Sport," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(1), pages 35-55, February.
    12. Jon Bakija & Adam Cole & Bradley Heim, 2008. "Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-22, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
    13. Thomas Peeters, 2015. "Profit-Maximizing Gate Revenue Sharing In Sports Leagues," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(2), pages 1275-1291, April.
    14. Hamlen, William A, Jr, 1991. "Superstardom in Popular Music: Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 729-733, November.
    15. Claire Célérier & Boris Vallée, 2019. "Returns to Talent and the Finance Wage Premium," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 32(10), pages 4005-4040.
    16. Kay H. Hofmann & Christian Opitz, 2019. "Talent and publicity as determinants of superstar incomes: empirical evidence from the motion picture industry," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(13), pages 1383-1395, March.
    17. Facundo Alvaredo & Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "The Top 1 Percent in International and Historical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 3-20, Summer.
    18. Dennis Coates & Bernd Frick & Todd Jewell, 2016. "Superstar Salaries and Soccer Success," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 17(7), pages 716-735, October.
    19. R. Todd Jewell, 2017. "The Effect of Marquee Players on Sports Demand," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 18(3), pages 239-252, April.
    20. Todd H. Kuethe & Mesbah Motamed, 2010. "Returns to Stardom: Evidence From U.S. Major League Soccer," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(5), pages 567-579, October.
    21. Bernd Frick, 2007. "The Football Players' Labor Market: Empirical Evidence From The Major European Leagues," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(3), pages 422-446, July.
    22. Alex Bryson & Giambattista Rossi & Rob Simmons, 2014. "The Migrant Wage Premium in Professional Football: A Superstar Effect?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 12-28, February.
    23. König, Felix, 2019. "Technical change and superstar effects: evidence from the roll-out of television," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103450, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    24. Stefan Szymanski, 2007. "The Economics of Sport: An International Perspective. By ROBERT SANDY, PETER J. SLOANE and MARK S. ROSENTRAUB," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 376-378, May.
    25. Vincenzo Carrieri & Francesco Principe & Michele Raitano, 2018. "What makes you ‘super-rich’? New evidence from an analysis of football players’ wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 950-973.
    26. Robert A. Lawson & Kathleen Sheehan & E. Frank Stephenson, 2008. "Vend It Like Beckham: David Beckham's Effect on MLS Ticket Sales," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 3(4), pages 189-195, November.
    27. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    28. Hausman, Jerry A & Leonard, Gregory K, 1997. "Superstars in the National Basketball Association: Economic Value and Policy," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 586-624, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Franziska Prockl, 2018. "The Superstar Code - Deciphering Key Characteristics And Their Value," Working Papers Dissertations 38, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    2. Chmait, Nader & Robertson, Sam & Westerbeek, Hans & Eime, Rochelle & Sellitto, Carmine & Reid, Machar, 2020. "Tennis superstars: The relationship between star status and demand for tickets," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 330-347.
    3. Nela Filimon & Jordi López-Sintas & Carlos Padrós-Reig, 2011. "A test of Rosen’s and Adler’s theories of superstars," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 35(2), pages 137-161, May.
    4. Martina Gianecchini & Alberto Alvisi, 2015. "Late career of superstar soccer players: win, play, or gain?," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0192, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    5. Budzinski, Oliver & Kohlschreiber, Marie & Kuchinke, Björn & Pannicke, Julia, 2019. "Does music quality matter for audience voters in a music contest?," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 122, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    6. Shoag, Daniel & Veuger, Stan, 2017. "Taking My Talents to South Beach (and Back)," Working Paper Series rwp17-019, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    7. Kurt William Rotthoff & Craig A. Depken & Peter A. Groothuis, 2014. "Influences on sponsorship deals in NASCAR: indirect evidence from time on camera," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(19), pages 2277-2289, July.
    8. Erik E. Lehmann & Günther G. Schulze, 2007. "What does it take to be a star? The role of performance and the media for German soccer players," Discussion Paper Series 1, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Mar 2008.
    9. Dr Alex Bryson, 2012. "Why Are Migrants Paid More?," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 388, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    10. Kotrba, Vojtěch, 2019. "Direct preferences of sports fans: Is there a superstar effect in the fantasy league?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 89-97.
    11. Carrieri, Vincenzo & Principe, Francesco & Raitano, Michele, 2017. "What makes you "super-rich"? New evidence from an analysis of football players' earnings," Ruhr Economic Papers 681, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Daniel Högele & Sascha L. Schmidt & Benno Torgler, 2012. "The Influence of Superstars on Organizational Identification of External Stakeholders: Empirical Findings from Professional Soccer," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-18, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Egon Franck & Stephan Nüesch, 2005. "Talent, Past Consumption and/or Popularity - Are German Soccer Celebrities Rosen or Adler Stars?," Working Papers 0005, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA), revised 2006.
    14. Francesco Angelini & Massimiliano Castellani, 2019. "Cultural and economic value: a critical review," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 43(2), pages 173-188, June.
    15. Guido Candela & Massimiliano Castellani & Pierpaolo Pattitoni & F. Marta L. Lascio, 2016. "On Rosen’s and Adler’s hypotheses in the modern and contemporary visual art market," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 415-437, August.
    16. Müller, Oliver & Simons, Alexander & Weinmann, Markus, 2017. "Beyond crowd judgments: Data-driven estimation of market value in association football," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 263(2), pages 611-624.
    17. Bernd Frick & Franziska Prockl, 2018. "Information Precision In Online Communities: Player Valuations On Www.Transfermarkt.De," Working Papers Dissertations 37, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    18. Herm, Steffen & Callsen-Bracker, Hans-Markus & Kreis, Henning, 2014. "When the crowd evaluates soccer players’ market values: Accuracy and evaluation attributes of an online community," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 484-492.
    19. Alcalá, Francisco & González-Maestre, Miguel, 2010. "Copying, superstars, and artistic creation," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 365-378, December.
    20. Carlo Bellavite Pellegrini & Raul Caruso & Marco Di Domizio, 2021. "Relative wages, payroll structure and performance in soccer. Evidence from Italian Serie A (2007-2019)," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Politica Economica dipe0015, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Superstar effects; Top incomes; Major League Soccer;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • Z22 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Labor Issues

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2020-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carl Singleton). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/derdguk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.