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

See all articles by Ruxanda Berlinschi

Ruxanda Berlinschi

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL). Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE). LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance,

Jeroen Schokkaert

LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance; KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Johan F. M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS); European Commission, DG II

Date Written: September 28, 2012

Abstract

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

Berlinschi, Ruxanda and Schokkaert, Jeroen and Swinnen, Johan F.M., When Drains and Gains Coincide: Migration and International Football Performance (September 28, 2012). LICOS Discussion Paper No. 265. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1658390 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1658390

Ruxanda Berlinschi (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL). Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE). LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, ( email )

Waaistraat 6 - box 3511
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Jeroen Schokkaert

LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance ( email )

Charles Debériotstraat 34
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Charles Debériotstraat 34
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Johan F.M. Swinnen

KU Leuven - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance (LICOS) ( email )

Waaistraat 6
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

European Commission, DG II ( email )

Wetstrath 200
Office 15172
1049 Brussels
Belgium
+32-2-2960442 (Phone)
Not available (Fax)

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