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Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues

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  • Rodney Fort
  • James Quirk

Abstract

Professional team sports leagues provide insight into the problems facing the management of functioning cartels. This paper provides an analysis of the incentives and outcomes inherent in the management of professional team sports cartels. Except for revenue sharing and salary caps, league cartel management outcomes are consistent with league-wide revenue maximization and have no impact on competitive balance. However, there are predictable impacts on the profitability of strong- and weak-drawing teams within the league. While providing an analytical review of the literature, the work here also yields new results concerning salary caps, local TV revenue sharing, and the behavior of cartel managers in the face of rival leagues.

Suggested Citation

  • Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 1995. "Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1265-1299, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:33:y:1995:i:3:p:1265-1299
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