Monday, July 8, 2019

Why Male Soccer Players Make More Than Female Soccer Players

Megan Rapinoe
By Thomas DiLorenzo

A stadium full of French socialists chanted “Equal Pay!  Equal Pay!” after the U.S. women won the World Cup over the weekend.  They were supporting the complaints of perpetually-angry-and-complaining Megan Rapinoe, the star of the U.S. women’s soccer team, about how the women are paid less than the men.

A little elementary economics can help explain why Megan is way out in left field on this.  In a competitive market economy world one’s pay is correlated with one’s marginal productivity.  That’s an economics term for how much you, as an employee, contribute to your employer’s profits.  The more skilled, experienced, educated, and hard working you are, the higher is your marginal productivity and your value to employers.  An important element of this is what the product or service is that you are involved in producing.  If there is strong consumer demand for the product or service, then your services in producing it will be worth more to employers.  I could be the best horse-and-buggy whip maker in history, but if there is slight demand for horse-and-buggy whips I won’t make much money.

Now, back to soccer.  In the last men’s world cup event in Russia, revenues, mostly from television, were about $6 billion.  For the recent women’s world cup they are estimated to be about $131 million, a small fraction of the men’s revenues (a little less than one-fiftieth).  Orders of magnitude more people watch men’s soccer than women’s soccer.  Compared to men’s soccer, hardly anyone cares about women’s soccer.   The women are actually paid proportionally more than the men, however — 13% versus 9% of total revenues.

(Via LRC)


  1. And this folks is a sound lesson. Lets hope someone on the team sees this.

  2. This is easy to solve. Just force men to watch women's soccer.

  3. Next up: Why top 20 NCAA football coaches make 40X more money than do the history and English professors at their same institutions.

    Shocked, shocked, just shocked!

  4. Just go play on the mens team and quit bitching. If you want to be paid like the men go compete against them. If you can make the team you will be paid according to your contributions to the team.

    I have competed against the best female motocross racer during the late 1980’s early 1990’s Mercedes Gonzales. We were at about the same speed. I was an amateur at the time racing in what was called the intermediate class (2nd from the top class Pro) at local SoCal races. So the Women’s National champ (nine times) was about the same speed as a top local SoCal amateur. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not slow. More top riders have come out of SoCal than any other, especially at that time, so the competition was very high. But the difference between a fast intermediate and being good enough to make a living as a pro is huge.

    In most sports women are not competitive against men. Top women tennis players are paid close to the top men tennis players buy could not compete with them on the court. The US womens national soccer team has scrimmaged against an under 15 year old boys academy team; the boys won 5-2. Just a scrimmage, no big deal. What if the mens national team were scrimmaging against boys? Not only would the men be made a joke of but it would be dangerous for the boys.

    The USWNT is already being paid more than the mens team relative to revenue, if their bitching can convince enough ignorant SJW’s to put enough pressure on the USSF to over pay them even more, more power to them. Otherwise tryout for the mens team or try tennis.

    1. Great... pay them as much as the 15 year old boys get paid!

  5. Locker room pep-talk:
    "Now go win one for the Gipper, ladies!---Oh, and another thing: Quit your bitchy hysterics already, and start providing more marginal productivity!"

  6. Even women don't want to watch women's soccer.