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Economics and Finance Research Talk Series

Wed 23/03 at 13:00-14:15 in BANN208 (Bannerman Centre)

Speaker: Giambattista Rossi (Birkbeck)

Title: Is the Labour Market for Goalkeepers Efficient?

Abstract: Research Question: We consider how organisations use available and measurable performance data to value personnel by focussing on the goalkeeper labour market in association football. In our study, we wish to see how well the club executives, who determine goalkeeper pay, understand how to separate the goalkeeper from the other players on the team.

Research Methods: Matching an exclusive salary dataset with rich performance measures, we estimate a standard Mincer-type salary model for our sample of 707 goalkeepers, who played in the top five European football leagues (Premier League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga 1, Serie A and La Liga) along seven seasons from 2013/14 to 2019/20.

Results and Findings: We find that clubs use primitive defensive statistics and features of goalkeeper ball distribution to determine goalkeeper pay. This evidence firstly points toward an inefficiency in the labour market of goalkeepers given the range of sophisticated statistics available which allow clubs to decouple individual performance from team qualities. Then, it indicates the increasing importance of goalkeepers to offensive moves. Our evidence supports the view that decision-makers within clubs are not optimally demarcating goalkeeper performance.

Implications: We show that organisations that compete in high-stakes environment, where labour is extremely costly, do not efficiently value a key team member. Identifying the failure to use advanced statistics to separate player from team performances is important as forming contracts in this setting is costly. This limitation in decision making can have general implications for organisations adopting differential pay strategies within teams that hold a shared objective.

Please be Covid aware and considerate of others:

  • Do not come if you have Covid symptoms.

  • Please wear a face covering (unless exempt).

  • Consider taking a lateral flow test on the morning of the presentation.

Live online streaming of the presentation can be arranged on request.

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