The implementation of cut-off dates is said to have a severe impact on the personal development of the affected individuals. Grouping children according to the date of their birth leads to a high difference in relative age between the oldest and the youngest of the relevant cohort. In German soccer the cut-off date is 1st of August for all youth leagues. One possible effect of introducing a cut-off date is a selection bias, favoring children born shortly after this cut-off date as they have a physical advantage over the children born afterwards, who are nevertheless put into the same age cohort. Once these children reach the age which enables them to become professionals, this in turn would lead to an overrepresentation of German players in the Bundesliga who were born shortly after the cut-off date.Furthermore, as previous studies show, players who were among the youngest in their cohort and still managed to make it to the professional level earn a wage premium. This might be seen as a surprise, as the market for soccer players should only take performance into account which is relevant for the output of players and this would certainly not include the players' birth date. In addition, market efficiency would not lead to different hazard rates for different birth dates if layers' performance is indeed independent of birth dates. This article tries to shed light on aforementioned possible impacts of cut-off dates on player selection and player salary in the German Bundesliga. It goes in line with a big body of literature, which analyzes the effect of cut-off dates and the relative age effect in education and sports.


Christian Deutscher

Universität Paderborn


01.04.2010 | 16:00 - 17:30 Uhr

Event Location

ZEW, L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim


Heinz König Hall


Senior Researcher