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Social Capital as a Factor of Sport Achievements: The Case of National Football Teams

I. Zaytseva
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I. Zaytseva: National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

Journal of the New Economic Association, 2018, vol. 37, issue 1, 34-60

Abstract: Social capital defined as an ability to act cooperatively towards a common goal plays important economic role. This research aims at defining the nature and quantifying the degree of social capital impact on outcome of collective actions, having analysed the case of national football teams. The measure of national football teams' social capital is based on the national level indicators, extracted from the European Social Survey for 34 countries from 2004 to 2014. For the purpose of the study the defined social capital measures are classified into variables of efficiency of collective actions and prosocial motivation. Such differentiation allows us to distinguish between the two mechanisms of social capital influence on national football team performance: ability of players to interact effectively within a team and importance of a team win for them. National football team success is measured by an official FIFA ranking, while talent of a team is estimated as a sum of players' market values. The econometric analysis, which includes an interaction term of social capital and talent, allows us to confirm the hypothesis of positive and complementary effect of social capital and talent on national football team performance. The obtained result confirms the general thesis about the significant role of social capital in collective actions problem and provides a deeper understanding of preconditions of success in team sports, and football in particular.

Keywords: collective action; football; FIFA rank; social capital; trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z20 Z22 Z28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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