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You searched for: Content Type Working Paper Remove constraint Content Type: Working Paper Publishing Institution The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University Remove constraint Publishing Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University Political Geography European Union Remove constraint Political Geography: European Union Topic Economics Remove constraint Topic: Economics
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  • Author: Matt Andrews
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Professional football clubs are ubiquitous in Europe. Every small to medium sized city has one. But most cities do not have an F.C. Barcelona or Bayern Munich or Manchester United. These are among the ‘super clubs’ of Europe: they win more games, attract more supporters, and make more money than other clubs. These clubs were not always the juggernauts one sees today, however. This paper looks at how they emerged. It tells more of an economic story than a sporting one, recounting a narrative similar to that one might tell about the emergence of successful multinational companies. According to this narrative, super clubs rise by producing increasingly more complex products because of expanding productive capabilities, providing growing opportunities for economic spillovers in the process. As indicated, this narrative focuses particularly on the ‘capabilities’ that have helped super clubs emerge. This focus draws on an emerging theory about economic complexity, which is used to frame the paper and is briefly introduced in section two (following an introduction to super clubs). The theory posits that production results from the creative combination of economic capabilities—or know-how. Some products require few common capabilities, are produced by everyone, and have relatively low value: like the average football club. Other products require many capabilities (including some that are rare), have high value, and are produced by a select group: like the super club. This theory is used to suggest two hypotheses about how football clubs become super: First, clubs do not become super by just producing better versions of the same products (a successful football team). Instead, over time, these clubs produce more complex, higher-value, globally consumed products. Second, clubs become super by accumulating new capabilities (or know-how) over time, manifest in new skills and people accessed through a range of ‘catalyst capabilities’ that source the skills. The catalyst capabilities include engagement mechanisms (through which skills are located and contracted), capital, infrastructure, and adaptive leadership. These hypotheses are put to the test in this study.
  • Topic: Economics, Sports, Economic Complexity
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union