nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒10‒03
two papers chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. The Age-Wage-Productivity Puzzle: A Contribution from Professional Football By Rachel Scarfe; Carl Singleton; Adesola Sunmoni; Paul Telemo
  2. The older the wiser? Determinants of misbehaviour in team contests By Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend

  1. By: Rachel Scarfe (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh); Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Adesola Sunmoni (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Paul Telemo (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: There is an inverted u-shaped relationship between age and wages in most labour markets and occupations, but the effects of age on productivity are less clear. We use panel data on the productivity and salaries of all elite professional footballers (soccer players) in North America to estimate age-productivity and age-wage profiles, which control for unobserved player characteristics and for entry and exit from this market, finding stark differences. While the productivity of footballers tends to peak in their early to mid-20s and then falls slowly, wages continue to increase throughout most of their careers, up to age 30, after which they fall rapidly. This discrepancy has been observed in other labour markets and poses the question: why are the youngest and oldest workers seemingly underpaid relative to their productivity? We consider a number of possible mechanisms that could be responsible without finding a clear culprit.
    Keywords: Labour productivity, Wages, Aging, Major League Soccer
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 J41 Z22
    Date: 2022–09–09
  2. By: Mario Lackner; Hendrik Sonnabend (University of Hagen)
    Abstract: We use data from top-level soccer to examine determinants of individual misbehaviour in team contests. Our estimates indicate a significant positive and non-linear relationship between a player’s age and (relative) ability on the one hand and the tendency to misbehave on the other. These findings are consistent with Social Learning Theory in that the group of high-status players may has learned that the consequences of misconduct are low and manageable. Furthermore, we demonstrate that misbehaviour is costly to both the players and their teams.
    Keywords: misconduct, contests, status, soccer
    JEL: J32 J24 K42 L83
    Date: 2022–09

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