Racial Discrimination in English Professional Football: Evidence from an Empirical Analysis of Players' Career Progression

Posted: 12 Mar 2009

See all articles by John A. Goddard

John A. Goddard

University of Wales, Swansea

John O. S. Wilson

University of St. Andrews

Date Written: March 2009

Abstract

A novel test for racial discrimination in English professional football is presented, based on an assessment of the effect of race on footballers' labour market transition probabilities. Career progression is observed over five-year intervals within the period 1986-2001. Transition probabilities are estimated using a three-equation model with initial divisional status, retention and divisional transition as dependent variables. Retention depends on age, divisional status, first-team appearances, playing position and birthplace. Divisional transition depends on age, first-team appearances and playing position. Black players tend to be employed by teams of higher divisional status and have higher retention probabilities, suggesting a form of hiring discrimination affecting the process of becoming a professional.

Keywords: Professional football, Racial discrimination, Transition probabilities

JEL Classification: J24, J44, J62

Suggested Citation

Goddard, John A. and Wilson, John O. S., Racial Discrimination in English Professional Football: Evidence from an Empirical Analysis of Players' Career Progression (March 2009). Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 33, Issue 2, pp. 295-316, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1357946 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cje/ben038

John A. Goddard

University of Wales, Swansea ( email )

Singleton Park
Swansea, Wales SA2 8PP
United Kingdom

John O. S. Wilson

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

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