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Free-Agency and the Competitiveness of Major-League Baseball

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Author Info

  • Craig A. Depken II

    (The University of Texas at Arlington)

Abstract

I investigate whether the removal of the reserve clause in professional baseball has affected the competitive nature of the industry in the context of whether teams are actively attempting to monopolize in high- valued inputs. It is possible that a very few teams could purchase all of the best players over time leading to a highly concentrated industry in certain production categories and adversely affect the competitive nature of the industry. To investigate this possibility, I calculate the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index for homeruns and strikeouts in professional baseball from 1920 to 1993, and relate them to structural changes in baseball. I isolate the structural effect of free-agency and find no evidence that free agency has altered the competitive nature of the industry. My findings support those in Hylan, Lage and Treglia (1996).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 9610001.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 1996
Date of revision: 31 Oct 1996
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9610001

Note: Type of Document - Tex; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX; to print on PostScript; pages: 33 ; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: concentration; competitiveness; baseball; free agency;

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References

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  1. Marvel, Howard P, 1978. "Competition and Price Levels in the Retail Gasoline Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 252-58, May.
  2. Gilbert, R Alton, 1984. "Bank Market Structure and Competition: A Survey," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 16(4), pages 617-44, November.
  3. Geroski, P A, 1981. "Specification and Testing the Profits-Concentration Relationship: Some Experiments for the UK," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(191), pages 279-88, August.
  4. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Severin Borenstein, 1989. "Hubs and High Fares: Dominance and Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 20(3), pages 344-365, Autumn.
  6. Sumner, Daniel A, 1981. "Measurement of Monopoly Behavior: An Application to the Cigarette Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 1010-19, October.
  7. James M. MacDonald, 1987. "Competition and Rail Rates for the Shipment of Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 151-163, Spring.
  8. Lehn, Kenneth, 1984. "Information Asymmetries in Baseball's Free Agent Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(1), pages 37-44, January.
  9. Drahozal, Christopher R., 1986. "The impact of free agency on the distribution of playing talent in major league baseball," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 113-121, May.
  10. Evans, William N & Kessides, Ioannis N, 1993. "Localized Market Power in the U.S. Airline Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 66-75, February.
  11. Sullivan, Daniel, 1985. "Testing Hypotheses about Firm Behavior in the Cigarette Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 586-98, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. P. Dorian Owen & Nicholas King, 2013. "Competitive Balance Measures in Sports Leagues: The Effects of Variation in Season Length," Working Papers 1309, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2013.
  2. Jean-pascal Gayant & Nicolas Le Pape, 2012. "How to account for changes in the size of Sports Leagues? The Iso Competitive Balance Curves," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1715-1723.
  3. Anthony C. Krautmann & Lawrence Hadley, 2006. "Dynasties versus pennant races: competitive balance in major league baseball," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 287-292.
  4. Allen R. Sanderson & John J. Siegfried, 2003. "Thinking About Competitive Balance," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0318, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. P. Owen & Michael Ryan & Clayton Weatherston, 2007. "Measuring Competitive Balance in Professional Team Sports Using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 289-302, December.
  6. Egon Franck & Stephan Nüesch & Jan Pieper, 2011. "Specific Human Capital as a Source of Superior Team Performance," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 63(4), pages 376-392, October.
  7. Aju Fenn & Peter Allmen & Stacey Brook & Thomas Preissing, 2005. "The Influence of Structural Changes and International Players on Competitive Balance in the NHL," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(2), pages 215-224, June.
  8. DepkenII, Craig A., 2000. "Wage disparity and team productivity: evidence from major league baseball," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 87-92, April.
  9. Vasileios Manasis & Vassiliki Avgerinou & Ioannis Ntzoufras & J. James Reade, 2011. "Measurement of competitive balance in professional team sports using the Normalized Concentration Ratio," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2529-2540.
  10. Martin Schmidt & David Berri, 2002. "Competitive Balance and Market Size in Major League Baseball: A Response to Baseball's Blue Ribbon Panel," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 41-54, August.
  11. Jennifer K. Ashcraft & Craig A. Depken, II, 2007. "The Introduction of the Reserve Clause in Major League Baseball: Evidence of its Impact on Select Player Salaries During the 1880s," Working Papers 0710, International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists.
  12. Jaret Treber & Rachel Levy & Victor Matheson, 2011. "Gender Differences in Competitive Balance in Intercollegiate Basketball," Working Papers 1106, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  13. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. repec:qut:auncer:2013_04 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. P. Dorian Owen, 2013. "Measurement of Competitive Balance and Uncertainty of Outcome," Working Papers 1311, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2013.
  16. 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.
  17. Evan S. Totty & Mark F. Owens, 2011. "Salary Caps and Competitive Balance in Professional Sports Leagues," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center, vol. 11(2), pages 46-56, Fall.

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