Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Imam Alam, Professor of Economics, Honors Thesis Advisor

Second Advisor

Jessica Moon, Director, University Honors Program


Soccer players--Salaries, etc.; Major League Soccer (Organization);


Application of economic and statistical techniques to the sports world has been on the rise for some time. The major sports in the United States (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey) have been thoroughly studied. However, professional soccer in the United States has emerged as a strong sports market in the last 20 years. This paper applies a statistical technique used by Lucifora and Simmons (2003) on an Italian professional soccer league to examine determinants of professional soccer player wages and assess the overall value added. The model is applied to Major League Soccer to determine how the different league structure impacts the earnings of its players. Empirical study of MLS has shown that league structure impacts how teams assess a player’s value to their team through their salary, which is shown to be determined by player age and its square, passing metrics, career goal scoring record, designated player status, US men’s national team experience, and whether the player is a foreign-born player.

Year of Submission



Department of Economics

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (30 pages)



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