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Did the Players Give Up Money to Make the NBA Better? Exploring the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement in the National Basketball Association


  • David J. Berri

    () (Southern Utah University)


The NBA and its players union reached a new collective bargaining agreement in 2011. As a result of this agreement, the players will now be receiving less money. The NBA argued that a pay cut for the players was necessary to make the league better. More specifically, the NBA argued that if the players accepted less money, more teams could afford to field competitive teams. Therefore, competitive balance would improve, demand for the sport would increase, and ultimately the players would be better off. Although the NBA did get the players to accept less money, the empirical evidence—from published research—casts significant doubt on the story the NBA told its players.

Suggested Citation

  • David J. Berri, 2012. "Did the Players Give Up Money to Make the NBA Better? Exploring the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement in the National Basketball Association," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 7(2), pages 158-175, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:jsf:intjsf:v:7:y:2012:i:2:p:158-175

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boscá, José E. & Liern, Vicente & Martínez, Aurelio & Sala, Ramøn, 2009. "Increasing offensive or defensive efficiency? An analysis of Italian and Spanish football," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 63-78, February.
    2. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Assessment: The Economics of Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 467-477, Winter.
    3. Van Calster Ben & Smits Tim & Van Huffel Sabine, 2008. "The Curse of Scoreless Draws in Soccer: The Relationship with a Team's Offensive, Defensive, and Overall Performance," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Peter Macmillan & Ian Smith, 2007. "Explaining International Soccer Rankings," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(2), pages 202-213, May.
    5. Robert Houston & Dennis Wilson, 2002. "Income, leisure and proficiency: an economic study of football performance," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(14), pages 939-943.
    6. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "The Sports Business as a Labor Market Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
    7. Robert Hoffmann & Lee Chew Ging & Bala Ramasamy, 2002. "The Socio-Economic Determinants of International Soccer Performance," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 5, pages 253-272, November.
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    More about this item


    NBA; collective bargaining; competitive balance;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism


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