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Tilting the Playing Field (Why a sports league planner would choose less, not more, competitive balance): The case of English Football

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Author Info

  • Stefan Szymanski

    ()
    (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College)

  • Stephanie Leach

    ()
    (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College)

Abstract

It has traditionally been argued that the organizer of a sports league would prefer more competitive balance to the level that emerges in a noncooperative equilibrium. This argument has been used to justify restraints on competition between teams, which also tend to raise profits at the expense of players and consumers. This paper shows that in theory a planner would prefer less, not more, competitive balance. The paper uses data from the second tier of professional English league football to show just how unbalanced a league planner would choose.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/SzymanskiLeach_Tilting.pdf
File Function: Original version completed January 2005
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists in its series Working Papers with number 0619.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0619

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Related research

Keywords: competitive balance; sports leagues; football; soccer;

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References

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  1. Roger Noll, 2002. "The Economics of Promotion and Relegation in Sports Leagues: The Cases of English Football," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 169-203, May.
  2. 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.
  3. SZYMANSKI, Stefan & KÉSENNE, Stefan, 2003. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Working Papers 2003003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  4. Dobson,Stephen & Goddard,John, 2011. "The Economics of Football," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521517140.
  5. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Roger G. Noll, 2007. "Broadcasting and Team Sports," Discussion Papers 06-016, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

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