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Career Prospects and Effort Incentives: Evidence from Professional Soccer

46 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2009 Last revised: 28 Feb 2015

Jeanine Miklós-Thal

University of Rochester - Simon Business School

Hannes Ullrich

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - Innovation, Management, Service

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Date Written: December 2014

Abstract

It is difficult to test the prediction that future career prospects create implicit effort incentives because researchers cannot randomly “assign” career prospects to economic agents. To overcome this challenge, we use data from professional soccer, where employees of the same club face different external career opportunities de- pending on their nationality. We test whether the career prospect of being selected to a Euro Cup national team affects players’ pre-Cup performances, using nationals of countries that did not participate in the Euro Cup as a control group. We find that the Euro Cup career prospect has positive effects on the performances of play- ers with intermediate chances of being selected to their national team, but negative effects on the performances of players whose selection is very probable. Our findings have implications for the incentive effects of within-firm promotions and of external career opportunities.

Keywords: incentives, effort, career concerns, reputation, contests, tournaments, promotions

Suggested Citation

Miklós-Thal, Jeanine and Ullrich, Hannes, Career Prospects and Effort Incentives: Evidence from Professional Soccer (December 2014). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 09-027. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1431910 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1431910

Jeanine Miklós-Thal

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Hannes Ullrich (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - Innovation, Management, Service ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+493089789521 (Phone)

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