Untalented but successful?

Vincenzo Verardi, Olivier Gergaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


When studying the reasons why and theconditions under which superstars emerge in markets, scholarsface difficulties in measuring talent, obtaining confidential data on earnings, and finding econometrictechniques that cope with the presence of outliers (superstars). In this paper, we use a dataset fromthe Pokemon trading card game in which (i) there is no unidentifiable heterogeneity, (ii) rarity canbe separated from talent and (iii) objective earnings are observable through transaction prices. Usingparametric or semi-parametric estimation techniques, we confirm that the relationship between talentand economic success is convex. On top of that, we find that a different category of superstars withinferior talent.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalEmpirical Economics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


  • superstars
  • semi-parametric estimation
  • Hedonic Prices
  • quasi-experimental data

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    Verardi, V., & Gergaud, O. (Accepted/In press). Untalented but successful? Empirical Economics.