The UEFA U17 European Championships begins in Ireland today. The graph below shows some data on birth date distributions for last years’ competition held in England last May.
The relative age effect is alive and well for the 320 U-17 players selected to represent their countries last year.
The first chart shows the skewed birth-date distribution for the U-17 Euro 2018 competition. 48% of the players are born in the first quarter of the calendar year.
The second chart looks at the relative age effect by playing position. The effect is prevalent in all positions.
While RAE is a robust and a well-known phenomenon some recent papers have taken some interesting angles on the subject, in particular asking whether birth date correlates with pay in sport.
There is probably academic work done on this question but I often wonder whether those born in the final quarter of the year are undervalued by the market? If age effects dissipate at senior and professional levels (which the evidence suggest they do), maybe elite underage players born later in the year should be in demand more. It would be interesting to test whether later-born youth stars carry a premium. They've made it this far after all.