Heterogeneity and Group Performance: Evaluating the Effect of Cultural Diversity in the World's Top Soccer League

56 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2013 Last revised: 15 May 2014

Keith Ingersoll

Kaplan University

Edmund J. Malesky

Duke University, Political Science

Sebastian M. Saiegh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: December 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper uses data from the UEFA Champions League tournament between 2003 and 2013 to study the impact of diversity on group performance. We find that more diverse teams outperform less diverse ones. All else equal, a one-standard deviation increase in the average team’s linguistic distance (our proxy for cultural heterogeneity) is associated with a 0.33 rise in per-game goal differential. Because most soccer games tend to be very low-scoring and close, our estimates imply that by incorporating additional (culturally inherent) skills to its roster, an average team could change an outcome from a tie to a win once in every three games. Structural equation modeling (SEM) reinforces these findings. These results have important implications for the debates regarding diversity’s impact on the performance of businesses and ultimately countries' well-being.

Keywords: diversity, soccer, UEFA Champions League, goal differential team performance

JEL Classification: D21

Suggested Citation

Ingersoll, Keith and Malesky, Edmund J. and Saiegh, Sebastian M., Heterogeneity and Group Performance: Evaluating the Effect of Cultural Diversity in the World's Top Soccer League (December 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2333289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2333289

Keith Ingersoll

Kaplan University ( email )

United States

Edmund J. Malesky (Contact Author)

Duke University, Political Science ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Sebastian M. Saiegh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
339
Rank
70,792
Abstract Views
2,151