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Tilting the Playing Field: Why a sports league planner would choose less, not more, competitive balance

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Author Info

  • Stefan Szymanski

    ()
    (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 Major League Baseball to show just how unbalanced a league planner would choose.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/Szymanski_Tilting.pdf
File Function: Original version completed October 2004
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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 0620.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0620

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Web page: http://www.cdes.fr/index.php?id=fr69
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Web page: http://www.kennesaw.edu/naase
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Related research

Keywords: competitive balance; sports leagues; baseball;

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References

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  1. Daniel, Rascher, 1999. "A Test of the Optimal Positive Production Network Externality in Major League Baseball," MPRA Paper 25832, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Stefan Szymanski & Stefan KÈsenne, 2004. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 165-177, 03.
  3. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
  4. Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "Alternative Measures of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 133-148, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oliver Budzinski, 2011. "The Institutional Framework for Doing Sports Business: Principles of EU Competition Policy in Sports Markets," Working Papers 1103, International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists.
  2. Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "Teaching competition in professional sports leagues," IASE Conference Papers 0647, International Association of Sports Economists.
  3. Stefan Szymanski, 2007. "The Champions League And The Coase Theorem," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(3), pages 355-373, 07.
  4. Helmut Dietl & Markus Lang & Stephan Werner, 2008. "Social Welfare in Sports Leagues with Profit-Maximizing and/or Win-Maximizing Clubs," Working Papers 0022, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA), revised Jul 2009.
  5. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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