Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #681

What Makes You ‘Super-Rich’? New Evidence from an Analysis of Football Players’ Earnings

by Vincenzo Carrieri, Francesco Principe and Michele Raitano

RWI, 03/2017, 25 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-789-2 DOI: 10.4419/86788789



This article investigates the influence of performance, popularity and power on “superearnings” using a unique panel dataset of Italian football players built on various sources of data. Using OLS, Panel and Unconditional Quantile regression techniques, we find that detailed measures of these factors are all significantly associated with higher wages. Popularity dominates all the other factors at the right tail of earnings distribution and the agent’s power contributes mostly to allocate players in richer teams. These new findings challenge the interpretations of super-earnings based only on very talented workers who “win and take all”.

JEL-Classification: J31, L83, J24, C23

Keywords: Superstars; top incomes; football players’ earnings; panel data; unconditional quantile regressions