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The Champions League And The Coase Theorem

  • Stefan Szymanski

The Coase Theorem is both one of the simplest and most profound ideas in economics. Coase’s insight was first expressed in print as a theorem by George Stigler, following the publication of the famous article “The Problem of Social Cost” by Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase (1960). Stigler stated it thus: “with zero transactions costs, private and social costs will be equal”. In this paper the Coase Theorem is approached through the medium of a sports league. While Coase’s article dates from 1960, a colleague at Chicago University published a discussion of the market for baseball players in 1956 which almost completely anticipates the more famous paper (Rottenberg (1956)).

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Article provided by Scottish Economic Society in its journal Scottish Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 355-373

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:54:y:2007:i:3:p:355-373
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  1. Eckard, E Woodrow, 2001. "Free Agency, Competitive Balance, and Diminishing Returns to Pennant Contention," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 430-43, July.
  2. Varouj Aivazian & Jeffrey Callen, 2003. "The Core, Transaction Costs, and the Coase Theorem," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 287-299, December.
  3. La Croix, Sumner J & Kawaura, Akihiko, 1999. "Rule Changes and Competitive Balance in Japanese Professional Baseball," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(2), pages 353-68, April.
  4. SZYMANSKI, Stefan & KÉSENNE, Stefan, 2003. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Working Papers 2003003, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  5. Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "Tilting the Playing Field: Why a sports league planner would choose less, not more, competitive balance," Working Papers 0620, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  6. Usher, Dan, 1998. "The Coase theorem is tautological, incoherent or wrong," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 3-11, October.
  7. Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "Alternative Measures of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 133-148, May.
  8. Thomas Hoehn & Stefan Szymanski, 1999. "The Americanization of European football," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 203-240, 04.
  9. Craig A. Depken II, 1996. "Free-Agency and the Competitiveness of Major-League Baseball," Industrial Organization 9610001, EconWPA, revised 31 Oct 1996.
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