Performance Measurement & Matching: The Market for Football Coaches

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2007


The matching hypothesis asserts that it is the matching of the employee and the firm rather than the qualifications of the employee alone that matter. Using a unique and large data set of college football coaches, we perform two different tests of the matching hypothesis. The relative accuracy with which performance in college football is observed allows for a direct test of matching. We find that matching is a significant factor in team performance. A good match accounts, on average, for approximately a 5 percent improvement in performance. We also find that the hazard rate is increasing for the first five years and then subsequently decreasing over a coach’s tenure. Our evidence is consistent with a four- or five-year contracting period for college football coaches.


Originally published in the Quarterly Journal of Business & Economics (Winter 2007) 46(1), p. 21-35 Authenticated users may access full text through EBSCOhost



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