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Pay and Performance in the Spanish Soccer League: Who Gets the Expected Monopsony Rents?

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra)

  • Francesc Pujol

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra)

Abstract

In the labour markets that gather few companies to compete for many workers, the economic theory predicts the existence of monopsony rents. It should also be the case of the Spanish soccer industry. However, the clubs of this league do not profit from the expected rents. The purpose of this paper is to explain such a contradictory evidence. Spanish soccer labour market is characterised by the presence of some outstanding workers (soccer superstars). It means that the winner-take-all hypothesis holds when analysing the soccer industry. This idea states that being slightly better than the other workers generates large earnings differentials (escalating earnings of league superstars). This paper considers the soccer industry as a dual labour market. One segment of this market could certainly be characterised by the traditional analysis of monopsony, in which a little number of clubs are willing to hire many potential candidates. The opposite occurs when studying the case of the superstar players. A number of entities (not just Spanish clubs) would fiercely compete for hiring those few superstars, who accumulate market power. The paper suggests that the monopsony rents that the clubs were to obtain from most of the soccer players, would eventually revert to the superstars, who enjoy strong bargaining power. In order to empirically test this idea, the paper analyses the data of the Spanish professional soccer league, for the season 2001/02. The analysis pays especial attention to the economic impact associated to each particular player, as far as it may help to explain the large wage differentials that could not be explained due to performance differentials.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio & Francesc Pujol, 2004. "Pay and Performance in the Spanish Soccer League: Who Gets the Expected Monopsony Rents?," Faculty Working Papers 05/04, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:una:unccee:wp0504
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    File URL: http://www.unav.edu/documents/10174/6546776/1132584458_wp0504.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hunt, Joseph W, Jr & Lewis, Kenneth A, 1976. "Dominance, Recontracting, and the Reserve Clause: Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 936-943, December.
    2. Rosen, Sherwin & Sanderson, Allen, 2001. "Labour Markets in Professional Sports," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages 47-68, February.
    3. Scully, Gerald W, 1974. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 915-930, December.
    4. Guido Ascari & Philippe Gagnepain, 2006. "Spanish Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 7(1), pages 76-89, February.
    5. Szymanski, Stefan, 2001. "Income Inequality, Competitive Balance and the Attractiveness of Team Sports: Some Evidence and a Natural Experiment from English Soccer," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(469), pages 69-84, February.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Torgler, Benno & Schmidt, Sascha L & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "The Power of Positional Concerns: A Panel Analysis," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1z14v7zt, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    2. Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "The Power of Positional Concerns," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    3. Benno Torgler & Sascha Schmidt, 2007. "What shapes player performance in soccer? Empirical findings from a panel analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(18), pages 2355-2369.
    4. Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Relative Income Position and Performance: An Empirical Panel Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Benno Torgler & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2006. "Does Envy Destroy Social Fundamentals? The Impact of Relative Income Position on Social Capital," Working Papers 2006.38, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Bridgewater, Sue & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Substitution and complementarity between managers and subordinates: Evidence from British football," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 275-286, June.
    7. Roberto Antonietti, 2008. "Il ruolo economico dell’arbitro di calcio: una rassegna della letteratura e alcune questioni aperte," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 4(3), pages 75-103, Dicembre.
    8. Andrews, Matt & Harrington, Peter, 2016. "Off Pitch: Football's Financial Integrity Weaknesses, and How to Strengthen Them," Working Paper Series 16-009, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets

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