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Some comparative economics of the organization of sports: competition and regulation in north American vs. European professional team sports leagues

  • Wladimir Andreff
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    This article contends that a new research avenue is open to comparative economics which is the economic comparison between American (closed) and European (open) professional team sports leagues. It starts with sketching the major institutional differences between the two leagues systems. Then it surveys the American modelling of competitive balance in these sports leagues that objects pro-competitive balance regulation as being non Walrasian when (American) teams are profit maximising. A next step is to cover how the Walrasian model has been adapted to European open leagues and their regulation of win maximising clubs under a hard budget constraint. Such approach has recently been outdated by models where win maximising clubs operate with a flexible supply of talent in a non cooperative game, given the globalization of the labour market for sporting talent (namely after the Bosman case). Finally, the article ploughs into a new research path advocating for a disequilibrium model where clubs would have a "soft" budget constraint rooted in their weak governance, and empirically tests a vicious circle between TV rights revenues and wages in French football that may explain the aforementioned disequilibrium.

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    Article provided by Cattaneo University (LIUC) in its journal The European Journal of Comparative Economics.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (June)
    Pages: 3-27

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    Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:8:y:2011:i:1:p:3-27
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    1. Wladimir Andreff & Paul D. Staudohar, 2000. "The Evolving European Model of Professional Sports Finance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(3), pages 257-276, August.
    2. J�nos Kornai & Eric Maskin & G�rard Roland, 2003. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1095-1136, December.
    3. Michel Aglietta & Wladimir Andreff & Bastien Drut, 2008. "Bourse et Football," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 118(2), pages 255-296.
    4. Stefan Kesenne, 2000. "Revenue Sharing and Competitive Balance in Professional Team Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(1), pages 56-65, February.
    5. Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Andrew S. Zimbalist, 2002. "Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues: An Introduction," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 111-121, May.
    9. Edward Glaeser & Simon Johnson & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Coase Versus The Coasians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 853-899, August.
    10. Sloane, Peter J, 1971. "The Economics of Professional Football: The Football Club as a Utility Maximiser," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 18(2), pages 121-46, June.
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