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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 18, 2019

Habits Do Not Die Easily: The Economics of Table Soccer

Vincenzo Alfano ORCID logo and Salvatore Capasso

Abstract

We attempt to test the importance of rules and cultural sedimentation on performance by analyzing what occurs in a niche sport, table soccer and inferring by extension the weight of habit formation in a more general productivity setting. This matters since firms increasingly employ workers of different cultural backgrounds, whose interplay may have an impact on performance. Our idea is to examine the differences that exist between local and international rules in a country such as Italy and find out whether athletes’ performance is affected when they compete at international level. Adapting models adopted by the literature to forecast the success in soccer and Olympic games, we study the performances of Italians and Non-Italians athletes in the International Table Soccer World Cup. We also apply an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition to account for explained and un-explained gaps in mean values. The results seem to confirm that globalization does not affect cultural sedimentation: local habits persist and hamper the performance of top players. Local habits matter, and habits do not die easily, even in the twenty-first century.

JEL Classification: L83; E70; E71

Funding statement: This article was supported by the University of Naples Parthenope (Grant Number: “Institutional and Economic Imbalances in the Eu).

Appendix

A Athletes per country per year

ISO2004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016
ARE114141120103
ARG421214
AUS6131141
AUT7352033323535293143433031
BEL611925111099101016831
BGR4101320201219242627
BHR11
BLR22
BRA21217
CAN5351612161112121052123
CHE12156101691091171139
CHN315222351836
CMR2
CRI11153111
CZE318182524222112828923
DEU24113021303237393428395237
DNK11356711121413954
DZA3121
ESP3365321
FIN11112572
FRA98633640353540374548383846
GAB1
GBR3211614211415169211094
HKG21124
HRV11
HUN12214139181413161114910
IND711
IRL1121
IRN14416732
ITA41312331211
JOR12
JPN313331281912151151
KOR1111
KWT2157
LBY1
LTU11191041091
LUX145444383710764
LVA541
MAR131211
MEX222
MYS25141208633
NLD1033151094646423
PAK2
PER4713
POL5511922162216722136
PRT42243234571285
PSE2
QAT1
ROU2359121414652
RUS251320132316202010
SAU1
SGP35235
SRB1118
SVK467865333115
SVN137442143
TUR23144458103311
TWN21115141013
UKR2
URY2
USA111878691686953652639114237
ZAF30

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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2019-0229).


Published Online: 2019-12-18

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