Working Paper No. 1126

Talent Development and Labour Market Integration: The Case of EU Football

Published: May 31, 2016, revised March, 2018Pages: 49Keywords: Sports industry; Star players; Champions League; Bosman rulingJEL-codes: J44; L50; L83

Talent Development and Labour Market Integration: The Case of EU Football Pehr-Johan Norbäck, Martin Olsson and Lars Persson


We analyse how the Bosman ruling changed the incentives for football clubs in the European Union (EU) to develop talents. We show that the stiffer bidding competition over star players after the Bosman ruling has spurred talent development primarily in EU countries without established top clubs. This, in turn, has had a positive impact on their junior and senior national teams’ performance. However, the stiffer bidding competition has also led to a lower competitive balance in the Champions League, as non-established clubs prefer to sell their star players instead of challenging the top clubs. We provide empirical evidence consistent with these findings.

Pehr-Johan Norbäck

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pehr-johan.norback@if...

Martin Olsson

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Mob: +46 70 445 1296
martin.olsson@ifn.se

Lars Persson

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Ph: +46 8 665 4504
lars.persson@ifn.se

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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