Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1126: Talent Development and Labour Market Integration: The Case of EU Football

Pehr-Johan Norbäck (), Martin Olsson () and Lars Persson ()
Additional contact information
Pehr-Johan Norbäck: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
Martin Olsson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
Lars Persson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Abstract: We analyse how the Bosman ruling changed the incentives for football clubs in the European Union (EU) to develop talents. We show that the stiffer bidding competition over star players after the Bosman ruling has spurred talent development primarily in EU countries without established top clubs. This, in turn, has had a positive impact on their junior and senior national teams’ performance. However, the stiffer bidding competition has also led to a lower competitive balance in the Champions League, as non-established clubs prefer to sell their star players instead of challenging the top clubs. We provide empirical evidence consistent with these findings.

Keywords: Sports industry; Star players; Champions League; Bosman ruling

JEL-codes: J44; L50; L83

49 pages, First version: May 31, 2016. Revised: March 14, 2018.

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