Stefan Szymanski and Daniel Weimar

There is a common perception that the German football system is financially more stable than other European football league systems. However, we show that the German football pyramid is no more immune to the problem of insolvency than other European football league pyramids. We provide evidence to show that insolvency occurs in German football at a frequency comparable to the English and French leagues. We also show that the pattern of insolvency is consistent with the experience of English and French football identified in Szymanski (2017) and Scelles et al. (2018). Using season-level...Read more

This paper tests for salary discrimination based on player ethnicities in Major League Soccer (MLS) with a market model. Particular focus is paid to Club Deportivo Chivas USA, which was operated by owners of a Mexican team that explicitly excludes non-Mexicans from their roster, Club Deportivo Guadalajara. Evidence of wage discrimination in MLS is found and the model is used to estimate how much of Chivas USA’s poor performance was due to discrimination. more

Marc Rohde and Christoph Breuer

Europe’s professional football clubs engage in intraseasonal races to win the league, qualify for Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) competitions, and avoid relegation. In these competitions, playing talent is a scarce good as players invest effort in the form of fitness and the risk of injuries. Thus, managers face incentives to adjust effort levels by means of changing the value of starting squads. This paper analyzes whether managers save efforts in the absence of financial incentives or ahead of more important games. The theoretical model extends previous papers from the...Read more

Leví Pérez
Víctor Puente
and Plácido Rodríguez

The uncertainty of outcome hypothesis is revisited in this paper in the context of a more general demand analysis of free-to-air soccer games broadcast in Spain. Apart from analyzing some expected determinants of television viewers’ aggregate behavior, such as the quality of the game and the type of match broadcast, and other seasonal effects, an alternative approach based on bettor predictions of the possible outcome of a particular match is used to test this hypothesis. The empirical findings show that expected uncertainty of outcome may either have no effect on (soccer) TV audiences or...Read more

Julia Bredtmann
Carsten J. Crede
and Sebastian Otten

In this article, we propose a new estimation strategy that draws on the variation in the performance between the male and the female national soccer team within a country to identify the effect of gender equality on women’s soccer success. For this, country year fixed effects are used to control for both time-constant and time-variant country specific factors. Our results reveal that within-country differences in our proxies for gender equality explain the international soccer performance of female teams, but have no notable explanatory power for the success of male teams. This suggests...Read more

Pamela Wicker
Joachim Prinz
Daniel Weimar
Christian Deutscher
Thorsten Upmann

Several determinants of player values like productivity and human capital have been investigated in previous research; however, the influence of individual effort has been neglected. This study assumes that effort could be a signaling device and analyzes the effect of effort on market values of soccer players. Secondary data on player statistics and market values from the 2011/2012 season and the first half of the 2012/2013 season of the German Bundesliga were collected (n=877). Technical innovations that record routes and running distances in soccer allow using total running distance and...Read more

Bernd Frick

The recent transfers of Christiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, and of Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (Kaká) from Associazione Calcio Milan to Real Madrid—as well as the increasing financial problems of many of the top teams in the big five European leagues—have again increased the public’s attention for the global football players’ labor market. Therefore, the paper addresses two important, and highly contested, issues: player remuneration and contract duration (players are usually considered as overpaid and poorly motivated. Using two different unbalanced panels from the German...Read more

Thomas Peeters

Monopolization of broadcast rights for collective sales is a widespread practice in sports leagues. Proponents of this system claim that it is a necessary tool for the maintenance of competitive balance (tension) in sports. In this empirical paper, I argue that, in European soccer, collective sales do not increase competitive balance as compared to individual sales. Further, I demonstrate the negative effect of the UEFA Champions League and the beneficial effect of a more equal distribution of drawing power and a larger domestic market size on competitive balance. These results shed new...Read more

Paulo Jorge Reis Mourão

This paper investigates the statistical relationship between European regional development and the competitiveness of professional soccer teams. Using data on more than 140 European regions (NUT2) from the period 1990–2006, it concludes that professional soccer teams are more likely to show superior performance if their head offices are located in population-dense regions that have a high GDP and in highly urbanized areas.Read more

Kevin Alavy
Alison Gaskell
Stephanie Leach
Stefan Szymanski

This paper examines the relationship between the demand for English football on television and outcome uncertainty. It tests the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis by using minute-by-minute television viewership figures which avoids the problems encountered when estimating demand using match attendance. We find that although uncertainty matters, it is the progression of the match which drives viewership and as a draw looks increasingly likely, viewers are likely to switch channels. Games that end in victories have a higher average viewership than games that end in stalemates.Read more