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The adjusted churn: an index of competitive balance for sports leagues based on changes in team standings over time

  • Daniel Mizak


    (Frostburg State University)

  • Anthony Stair


    (Frostburg State University)

  • John Neral


    (Frostburg State University)

Registered author(s):

    This paper introduces an index called the adjusted churn, designed to measure competitive balance in sports leagues based on changes in team standings over time. This is a simple yet powerful index that varies between zero and one. A value of zero indicates no change in league standings from year to year and therefore minimal competitive balance. A value of one indicates the maximum possible turnover in league standings from year to year and therefore a high level of competitive balance. Application of this index to Major League Baseball suggests that there has been a significant decline in competitive balance in MLB since the 1990s with the most severe decline occurring in the American League. This index also indicates minimal competitive balance for the American League Eastern Division of MLB from 1998 to 2003

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    Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

    Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 1-7

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    Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-07z00005
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    1. Lawrence Hadley & James Ciecka & Anthony C. Krautmann, 2005. "Competitive Balance in the Aftermath of the 1994 Players’ Strike," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(4), pages 379-389, November.
    2. Daniel Mizak & Anthony Stair, 2004. "The relationship between payroll and performance disparity in major league baseball: an alternative measure," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(9), pages 1-14.
    3. Joshua Utt & Rodney Fort, 2002. "Pitfalls to Measuring Competitive Balance With Gini Coefficients," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(4), pages 367-373, November.
    4. Andrew S. Zimbalist, 2002. "Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues: An Introduction," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 111-121, May.
    5. Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "Alternative Measures of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 133-148, May.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2004:i:9:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Martin B. Schmidt & David J. Berri, 2003. "On the Evolution of Competitive Balance: The Impact of an Increasing Global Search," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 692-704, October.
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