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The Organization of Sports Leagues

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Abstract

Sports leagues have been organized in many different ways. This essay examines the incentive structure and efficiency of different forms of league organization, including the methods for scheduling games, admitting new members, and making operational decisions. The article also compares operations and outcomes in Europe and North America, and concludes that the European system of promotions and relegation is superior to the closed structure of American leagues, and that the American system of multiple parallel leagues to determine qualifications and seeding in a post-season tournament is efficiency enhancing. The article also discusses the optimal size and number of leagues, and concludes that both the European and American systems produce too few major-league teams, largely because they have permitted major leagues to be monopolies. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger G. Noll, 2003. "The Organization of Sports Leagues," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 530-551, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:19:y:2003:i:4:p:530-551
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    Cited by:

    1. Büch, Martin-Peter & Maennig, Wolfgang & Schulke, Hans-Jürgen (ed.), 2012. "Sport und Sportgroßveranstaltungen in Europa - zwischen Zentralstaat und Regionen," Edition HWWI, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI), volume 4, number 4.
    2. Troilo, Michael & Bouchet, Adrien & Urban, Timothy L. & Sutton, William A., 2016. "Perception, reality, and the adoption of business analytics: Evidence from North American professional sport organizations," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 59(PA), pages 72-83.
    3. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Olsson, Martin & Persson, Lars, 2016. "Talent Development and Labour Market Integration: The Case of EU Football," Working Paper Series 1126, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 14 Mar 2018.
    4. Giancarlo Moschini, 2010. "Incentives And Outcomes In A Strategic Setting: The 3-Points-For-A-Win System In Soccer," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 65-79, January.
    5. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Tariq Hasan, 2005. "What Can European Sports Leagues Learn from the Major Leagues," Working Papers 0039, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    6. Dickson, Geoff & Arnold, Trevor & Chalip, Laurence, 2005. "League Expansion and Interorganisational Power," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 145-165, September.
    7. Liam J. A. Lenten, 2008. "Unbalanced Schedules And The Estimation Of Competitive Balance In The Scottish Premier League," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 55(4), pages 488-508, September.
    8. Smith, Aaron C.T. & Stewart, Bob, 2010. "The special features of sport: A critical revisit," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-13, February.
    9. Evan Osborne, 2008. "Rivalries," Working Papers 0808, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    10. Dietl, Helmut & Duschl, Tobias, 2012. "The organization of professional sports leagues: A comparison of European and North-American leagues from the perspective of platform organization," Edition HWWI: Chapters,in: Sport und Sportgroßveranstaltungen in Europa - zwischen Zentralstaat und Regionen, pages 111-126 Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    11. Meiklejohn, Trevor & Dickson, Geoff & Ferkins, Lesley, 2016. "The formation of interorganisational cliques in New Zealand rugby," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 266-278.
    12. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Karpov, Alexander, 2015. "A theory of knockout tournament seedings," Working Papers 0600, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    14. Jeroen Schokkaert & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "It is Harder, not Easier, to Predict the Winner of the Champions League," LICOS Discussion Papers 32913, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    15. Markus Breuer, 2009. "The demand for football tickets depending on the number of clubs in a city – Empirical evidence from Germany –," Working Papers 2009.5, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.

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