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Making a Maradona: Meat Consumption and Soccer Prowess

Martín Rossi and Christian Ruzzier ()

No 161, Working Papers from Red Nacional de Investigadores en Economía (RedNIE)

Abstract: We provide novel evidence that poor individuals born in countries with high consumption of meat are more likely to show soccer prowess. Our findings are robust to controlling for population, per capita income, and interest in soccer. We posit that the combination of relatively cheap meat and low opportunity costs of engaging in a career in professional soccer can explain this association between meat consumption, low socioeconomic status, and soccer prowess. Access to cheap meat implies a higher quality diet, which allows for the development of the cognitive functions required to excel in soccer. Poverty implies a low opportunity cost of putting those improved cognitive functions to use in soccer.

Keywords: Sports; Meat consumption; Soccer; Nutrition; Poverty; Cognitive functions. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J22 J24 Z20 Z22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28 pages
Date: 2022-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lam and nep-spo
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aoz:wpaper:161

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