salary, two-footedness, wage premium, football

The Returns to Scarce Talent: Footedness and Player Remuneration in European Soccer

We investigate the salary returns to a scarce talent, namely the ability to play football with both feet. The majority of footballers are predominantly right footed. Using two data sets, a cross-section of footballers in the five main European leagues and a panel of players in the German Bundesliga, we find robust evidence of a substantial salary premium for two-footed ability, even after controlling for available player performance measures. We assess how this premium varies across the salary distribution and by player position.