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Genetic Diversity and Performance: Evidence From Football Data

Michel Beine, Silvia Perrachi () and Skerdilajda Zanaj
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Silvia Perrachi: Department of Economics and Management, Université du Luxembourg

DEM Discussion Paper Series from Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg

Abstract: The theoretical impact of genetic diversity is ambiguous since it leads to costs and benefits at the collective level. In this paper, we assess empirically the connection between genetic diversity and the performance of sport teams. Focusing on football (soccer), we built a novel dataset of national teams of European countries that have participated in the European and the World Championships since 1970. Determining the genetic diversity of national teams is based on the distance between the genetic scores of every players’ origins in the team. Genetic endowments for each player are recovered using a matching algorithm based on family names. Performance is measured at both the unilateral and bilateral level. Identification of the causal link relies on an instrumental variable strategy that is based on past immigration at the country level about one generation before. Our findings indicate a positive causal link between genetic diversity and teams’ performance. We find a substantial effect, a one-standard increase in diversity leading to ranking changes of two to three positions after each stage of a championship.

Keywords: Genetic diversity; Football; Sports team; Performance; Family names; Migration. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 F66 O15 O47 Z22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-gro and nep-spo
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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http://hdl.handle.net/10993/47633 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Genetic Diversity and Performance: Evidence from Fooball Data (2021) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:luc:wpaper:21-11

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