nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2007‒03‒24
one paper chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. International Soccer Success and National Institutions By Eva Marikova Leeds; Michael A. Leeds

  1. By: Eva Marikova Leeds (Moravian College); Michael A. Leeds (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: A growing literature has examined what characteristics lead countries to succeed or fail in international soccer. We build on this literature by building a model of national success, where success is measured by the number of “FIFA points” a national team earned. We use the model to generate testable hypotheses regarding the impact of a nation’s political heritage and institutions on its soccer performance. Using OLS and Poisson regressions, we corroborate previous studies and find that success increases with income, population, and having hosted a World Cup competition. We also find that a country’s political institutions and colonial heritage affect its soccer performance. In particular, being a wealthy democracy adds greatly to soccer performance. We also find that the success of a country’s club teams is a good predictor of the national team’s success. We conclude that club success reflects a nation’s willingness and ability to finance soccer success.
    Keywords: soccer
    JEL: L83 O57 F54
    Date: 2007–03

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