Make or Buy? Human Capital Accumulation Strategies in European Club Football
Tjalling C. Koopmans Research Institute Discussion Paper Series nr: 13-17
18 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018
Date Written: December 2013
When it comes to discussing club football emotions tend to get heated quite easily across the globe. This heterogeneity in likes and dislikes is not only reflected in name or financial possibilities, but also in the clubs approach to building a team. We analyze whether clubs' strategies regarding buying or cultivating players have a discernable effect on their success on the pitch. For the analysis we employ match level data covering five seasons of play in top-flight Dutch and English club football leagues. The results suggest that players' tenure has a positive and significant effect on the probability of winning, but only in the English Premier League. The positive effect we find for the Premier League aligns with theories of firm specific human capital. We hypothesize the lack of significant effects in the Dutch league to be tied to clubs' inability to keep successful players with the club or buy replacements of equal quality on the transfer market, because the club-specific human capital component takes time to accumulate.
Keywords: Football, human capital, tenure, winning probability
JEL Classification: D22, J24, L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation