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Ancestral diversity and performance: Evidence from football data

Silvia Peracchi, Skerdilajda Zanaj and Michel Beine
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Silvia Peracchi: Université du Luxembourg

French Stata Users' Group Meetings 2023 from Stata Users Group

Abstract: The theoretical impact of diversity is ambiguous because it leads to costs and benefits at the collective level. In this presentation, we empirically assess the connection between ancestral diversity and the performance of sport teams. Focusing on football (soccer), we built a novel dataset of national teams of European countries having participated in the European and the World Championships since 1970. Ancestral diversity of national teams is based on augmenting the diversity index with genetic distance information on every player's origins in the team. Origins for each player are recovered using a matching algorithm based on family names. Performance is measured at the match level. Identification of the causal link relies on an instrumental-variable strategy based on past immigration at the country level about one generation before. Our findings indicate a positive causal link between ancestral diversity and teams' performance. We find that a one-standard increase in diversity can lead to ranking changes of two to three positions after each stage of a championship.

Date: 2023-08-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-evo and nep-spo
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