IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rdg/emxxdp/em-dp2020-17.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why are we so good at football, and they so bad? Institutions and national footballing performance

Author

Listed:
  • Meshael Batarfi

    (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

  • J. James Reade

    (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

Abstract

The production technology in football is identical for each team that competes. All around the world, a field, goalposts and a ball is all that is required, in addition to players. Yet at each country's highest level, national football teams, vast differences exist across countries. This paper sketches out broad patterns in this variation in performance, and seeks to understand why some countries are very good, whilst others very poor. We investigate a range of macroeconomic, demographic and other explanations and consider the extent to which they explain the observed variation in footballing performance historically. We find that higher level of GDP helps nations to win more often, but that population hinders this. A more developed domestic footballing structure appears to be helpful too.

Suggested Citation

  • Meshael Batarfi & J. James Reade, 2020. "Why are we so good at football, and they so bad? Institutions and national footballing performance," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-17, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:emxxdp:em-dp2020-17
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/economics/emdp202017.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Walter C. Neale, 1964. "The Peculiar Economics of Professional Sports," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 1-14.
    2. John Manuel Luiz & Riyas Fadal, 2011. "An economic analysis of sports performance in Africa," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(10), pages 869-883, August.
    3. Michael A. Leeds & Eva Marikova Leeds, 2009. "International Soccer Success and National Institutions," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 10(4), pages 369-390, August.
    4. Landes, David S, 1990. "Why Are We So Rich and They So Poor?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 1-13, May.
    5. Simon Rottenberg, 1956. "The Baseball Players' Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 242-242.
    6. Robert Hoffmann & Lee Chew Ging & Victor Matheson & Bala Ramasamy, 2006. "International women's football and gender inequality," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(15), pages 999-1001.
    7. Eiji Yamamura, 2009. "Technology transfer and convergence of performance: an economic study of FIFA football ranking," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 261-266.
    8. J. James Reade & Carl Singleton & Alasdair Brown, 2021. "Evaluating strange forecasts: The curious case of football match scorelines," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 68(2), pages 261-285, May.
    9. Melanie Krause & Stefan Szymanski, 2017. "Convergence vs. the middle income trap: The case of global soccer," Working Papers 453, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    10. Stefan Szymanski, 2016. "Professional Asian Football Leagues and the Global Market," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 11(1), pages 16-38, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Nicolas Eber, 2003. "Sports Practice, Health, and Macroeconomic Performances," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(2), pages 126-144, May.
    13. Peter Macmillan & Ian Smith, 2007. "Explaining International Soccer Rankings," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(2), pages 202-213, May.
    14. Andrew B. Bernard & Meghan R. Busse, 2004. "Who Wins the Olympic Games: Economic Resources and Medal Totals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 413-417, February.
    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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Berlinschi, Ruxanda & Schokkaert, Jeroen & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "When drains and gains coincide: Migration and international football performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 1-14.
    4. Wladimir Andreff & Madeleine Andreff, 2015. "Economic prediction of sport performances from the Beijing Olympics to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa: the notion of surprising sporting outcomes," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01244495, HAL.
    5. Kin-Man Wan & Ka-U Ng & Thung-Hong Lin, 0. "The Political Economy of Football: Democracy, Income Inequality, and Men’s National Football Performance," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-33.
    6. Plácido Rodríguez & Stefan Késenne & Ruud Koning (ed.), 2015. "The Economics of Competitive Sports," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15770.
    7. Wladimir Andreff & Madeleine Andreff, 2015. "Economic prediction of sport performances from the Beijing Olympics to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa: the notion of surprising sporting outcomes," Post-Print halshs-01244495, HAL.
    8. Melanie Krause & Stefan Szymanski, 2017. "Convergence vs. the middle income trap: The case of global soccer," Working Papers 453, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    9. repec:zbw:rwirep:0501 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kin-Man Wan & Ka-U Ng & Thung-Hong Lin, 2020. "The Political Economy of Football: Democracy, Income Inequality, and Men’s National Football Performance," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 981-1013, October.
    11. Michael A. Leeds & Eva Marikova Leeds, 2009. "International Soccer Success and National Institutions," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 10(4), pages 369-390, August.
    12. Joshua Congdon-Hohman & Victor A. Matheson, 2013. "International women’s soccer and gender inequality: revisited," Chapters, in: Eva Marikova Leeds & Michael A. Leeds (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Women in Sports, chapter 16, pages 345-364, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Henseke, Golo, 2009. "Country performance at the International Mathematical Olympiad," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 108, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    14. Seo-Young Cho, 2013. "A League of Their Own: Female Soccer, Male Legacy and Women's Empowerment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1267, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Kavetsos, Georgios & Szymanski, Stefan, 2010. "National well-being and international sports events," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 158-171, April.
    16. Michael Lewis & Yeujun Yoon, 2018. "An Empirical Examination of the Development and Impact of Star Power in Major League Baseball," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 19(2), pages 155-187, February.
    17. Elise M. Beckman & Wenqiang Cai & Rebecca M. Esrock & Robert J. Lemke, 2012. "Explaining Game-to-Game Ticket Sales for Major League Baseball Games Over Time," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 13(5), pages 536-553, October.
    18. Brad R. Humphreys & Li Zhou, 2015. "The Louis–Schmelling Paradox and the League Standing Effect Reconsidered," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 16(8), pages 835-852, December.
    19. Young Hoon Lee & Yongdai Kim & Sara Kim, 2018. "Unbiased Estimation of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues with Unbalanced Schedules," Working Papers 1801, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
    20. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Effect of Linguistic Heterogeneity on Technology Transfer: An Economic Study of FIFA Football Rankings," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 40(1), pages 85-99, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development; contests; sport;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

    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-dp2020-17. 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: . 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 bibliographic 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.

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

    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.