Career Duration in Professional Football

Bernd Frick

in The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387773
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Career Duration in Professional Football

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  • Labour and Demographic Economics


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This chapter discusses the institutional framework and the nomination procedure that is currently applied in the German “Bundesliga” (GBL), and then provides the data and some descriptive evidence on career length of soccer referees. A plea for further research on the determinants of career length of referees from a comparative perspective is presented, and it is shown that financial incentives do not motivate the referees to put forth higher levels of effort. The number of matches a referee is assigned to over the course of his career is highly concentrated among a small minority of match officials. The distribution of career length of head coaches in the GBL exhibits an even more pronounced bimodal pattern than is the case for referees since the early 1990s. Comparing the duration of individual careers in different institutional environments would allow the researcher to better understand how selection and incentive effects interact.

Keywords: German Bundesliga; soccer referees; professional football; career length; match officials; bimodal pattern; head coaches

Article.  5585 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Industry Studies ; Labour and Demographic Economics

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