Contracts as Rent-Seeking Devices: Evidence from German Soccer

Feess, Eberhard; Gerfin, Michael; Muehlheusser, Gerd (November 2010). Contracts as Rent-Seeking Devices: Evidence from German Soccer (Discussion Papers 10-15). Bern: Department of Economics

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Recent theoretical research has identified many ways how contracts can be used as rentseeking devices vis-`a-vis third parties, but there is no empirical evidence on this issue
so far. To test some basic qualitative properties of this literature, we develop a theoretical and empirical framework in the context of European professional soccer where (incumbent) teams and players sign binding contracts which are, however, frequently renegotiated when other teams (entrants) want to hire the player. Because they weaken entrants in renegotiations, long-term contracts are useful rent-seeking devices for the contracting parties. However, they also lead to allocative distortions in the form of deterring efficient transfers. Since incumbent teams tend to benefit more from long-term contracts in renegotiations than players do, these must be compensated ex ante by higher wages
when agreeing to a long-term contract. Using data from the German “Bundesliga”, our
model predictions are broadly confirmed.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics

UniBE Contributor:

Gerfin, Michael and Muehlheusser, Gerd

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Series:

Discussion Papers

Publisher:

Department of Economics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lars Tschannen

Date Deposited:

15 Oct 2020 17:20

Last Modified:

15 Oct 2020 17:20

JEL Classification:

L14, J63, L40, L83

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.145738

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/145738

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