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The Effect of Talent Disparity on Team Performance in Soccer

Egon Franck () and Stephan NŸesch ()
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Stephan NŸesch: Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Stephan Nuesch ()

No 21, Working Papers from University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA)

Abstract: This paper studies the relationship between talent disparity and team productivity based on panel data from German soccer teams. Holding average ability and unobserved team heterogeneity constant, we find evidence that the players selected to play on the competition team should be rather homogeneous regarding their playing talent. If, however, the team is defined at the preparatory stage, which includes all training activities, talent disparity turns out to be beneficial. In a first model, we analyze match-level data to test the talent composition effects of the fielded team on the final score of the game. In a second model, we include the reserve players as well and relate talent differences within the entire squad to the teamÕs (inverted) league standing at the end of the season as the ultimate measure of long-run team effectiveness. At the competition stage of team production, the gameÕs result depends on all team members performing at or above some threshold level of proficiency. At the preparatory stage of team production, however, aspects like mutual learning seem to be more important.

Keywords: Talent Disparity, Team Productivity; Sports Economics, Soccer (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D23 D24 J44 L83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2008, Revised 2009
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Forthcoming in Journal of Economic Psychology

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