When Drains and Gains Coincide: Migration and International Football Performance
LICOS Discussion Paper No. 265
52 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2010 Last revised: 3 Oct 2012
Date Written: September 28, 2012
We analyze the effects of football player migration to foreign leagues on the performance of their home country national teams. We provide a theoretical model predicting a positive effect of migration on international football performance due to superior skills acquired by players choosing to migrate to foreign leagues. We test this prediction using recent cross country data on international football performance. In order to accurately measure the effect of skill acquisitions by migrating players, we construct a weighted migration index that takes into account the quality of the foreign league and the division in which national team players are employed. We find strong and robust support for the prediction that migration of players to foreign leagues improves international football performance of their home countries.
Keywords: Migration, Muscle Drain, International Football Performance
JEL Classification: J61, L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation