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The Economic Design of Sporting Contests

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  • Stefan Szymanski

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on commercial sport through the lens of the economic theory of contests/tournaments. It seeks to draw together research on incentives in individualistic sports such as golf and footraces with the research on uncertainty of outcome and competitive balance in team sports such as baseball and soccer. The contest framework is used to analyze issues such as the optimal distribution of prizes, the impact of revenue sharing, salary caps, draft rules, and a variety of other restraints commonly employed in sports leagues. The paper draws heavily on a comparative analysis of contest organization, in particular between North America and Europe.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/002205103771800004
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1137-1187

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:1137-1187

Note: DOI: 10.1257/002205103771800004
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References

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  1. Cyrenne, Philippe, 2001. "A Quality-of-Play Model of a Professional Sports League," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 444-52, July.
  2. Jerry R. Green & Nancy L. Stokey, 1982. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-90, September.
  4. Dasgupta, Ani & Nti, Kofi O., 1998. "Designing an optimal contest," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 587-603, November.
  5. Martin B. Schmidt & David J. Berri, 2001. "Competitive Balance and Attendance: The Case of Major League Baseball," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(2), pages 145-167, May.
  6. Scott E. Atkinson & Linda R. Stanley & John Tschirhart, 1988. "Revenue Sharing as an Incentive in an Agency Problem: An example from the National Football League," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 27-43, Spring.
  7. El-Hodiri, Mohamed & Quirk, James, 1971. "An Economic Model of a Professional Sports League," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1302-19, Nov.-Dec..
  8. Mark Duggan & Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Winning Isn't Everything: Corruption in Sumo Wrestling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1594-1605, December.
  9. Michael T. Maloney & Robert E. McCormick, 2000. "The Response of Workers to Wages in Tournaments," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(2), pages 99-123, May.
  10. Green, Jerry & Stokey, Nancy, 1983. "A Comparison of Tournaments and Contracts," Scholarly Articles 3203644, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Scully, Gerald W, 1974. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 915-30, December.
  12. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
  13. Beck A. Taylor & Justin G. Trogdon, 2002. "Losing to Win: Tournament Incentives in the National Basketball Association," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 23-41, January.
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As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Industrial Organization > Industry studies > Sports, recreation and tourism > Sports
  2. > Industrial Organization > Industry studies > Sports, recreation and tourism
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