Information Precision in Online Communities: Player Valuations on www.Transfermarkt.De

Franziska Prockl and Bernd Frick

The benefits of crowd wisdom/swarm intelligence in the form of superior decision-making and problem-solving skills have recently been analyzed and discussed by researchers from various fields. The goal of this paper is to identify the relevance of crowd wisdom for professional team sports leagues by analyzing, first, the emergence of crowd wisdom on a particular online platform (www.transfermarkt.de) and, second, by documenting the precision of the collectively gathered information. The authors evaluate the emergence and diffusion of information on that platform over ten consecutive years and find a pattern similar to the one proposed by Bass (1969) in a now seminal study. Moreover, using player values as well as player salaries from Major League Soccer for the seasons 2006 through 2015, it appears that values are excellent proxies for salaries that are not disclosed, but remain private and confidential in most leagues. These findings encourage researchers to use information from sources like transfermarkt.de in their empirical studies.

Open Access