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Gender Differences in Competitive Balance in Intercollegiate Basketball

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Author Info

  • Jaret Treber

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Kenyon College)

  • Rachel Levy

    ()
    (Bessemer Trust)

  • Victor Matheson

    ()
    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

Abstract

This paper adds to the literature on competitive balance in college sports by comparing men's and women's NCAA basketball. Using data from the Division I National Championships, we find evidence consistent with the idea that women’s college basketball is less competitively balanced than men’s college basketball. We argue that this difference may be explained by a theory of player ability borrowed from evolutionary biology first promulgated by paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould and subsequently utilized in Berri (2004). An implication of this idea is that competitive balance in women’s NCCA basketball will naturally improve over time. This is good news for those who are concerned with the long term success of the sport to the extent that competitive balance in women’s college basketball impacts fan demand. Nevertheless, we discuss why there may be reason to believe that women’s college basketball may not reach the same level of balance as men’s college basketball.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/Matheson-Treber_WomensBasketball.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1106.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:1106

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Fax: (508) 793-3708
Web page: http://www.holycross.edu/departments/economics/website/
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Related research

Keywords: College sports; competitive balance; women’s sports; basketball;

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  1. E. Eckard, 1998. "The NCAA Cartel and Competitive Balance in College Football," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 347-369, June.
  2. Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "Alternative Measures of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 133-148, May.
  3. Daniel Sutter & Stephen Winkler, 2003. "NCAA Scholarship Limits and Competitive Balance in College Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(1), pages 3-18, February.
  4. James Quirk, 2004. "College football conferences and competitive balance," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 63-75.
  5. Craig A. Depken II, 1996. "Free-Agency and the Competitiveness of Major-League Baseball," Industrial Organization 9610001, EconWPA, revised 31 Oct 1996.
  6. Allen R. Sanderson & John J. Siegfried, 2003. "Thinking About Competitive Balance," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0318, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  7. Craig A. Depken II & Dennis P. Wilson, 2006. "NCAA Enforcement and Competitive Balance in College Football," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 826–845, April.
  8. Andrew S. Zimbalist, 2002. "Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues: An Introduction," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 111-121, May.
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