Is it profitable to represent the country? Evidence on the sport-related income of funded top-level athletes in Germany
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Several countries have introduced support mechanisms for top-level athletes who represent their nation in international competitions such as the Olympics. Many of these athletes receive funding as they do not generate sufficient income through their sport. Previous research has focused on self-sufficient athletes in professional sports demonstrating a research gap regarding the income of funded athletes. The purpose of the study is to analyse the determinants of the sport-related income of funded athletes. An empirical evaluation is undertaken using data from a nationwide survey of national top-level athletes in Germany who are supported by the German Sports Aid Foundation (n = 1133). The results show that being an Olympic champion, European champion, age, agesquared, squad level, being disabled, and the media exposure of the sport have a significant impact on the sport-related income of funded athletes. The sport-related income also differs significantly among sports.
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