The Economics of Promotion and Relegation in Sports Leagues: The Cases of English Football
In most of the world's professional sport leagues, the worst teams in better leagues are demoted while the best teams in weaker leagues are promoted. This article examines the economics of promotion and relegation, using data from English football (soccer). The crucial findings are as follows: players earn higher wages under promotion and relegation, promotion and relegation has a net positive effect on attendance, and the effect of promotion and relegation on competitive balance is ambiguous. The unbalancing effect arises because the system places some teams in leagues in which they have no realistic chance to afford a winning team, thereby causing teams to spend less on players during their (brief) stay in a higher league than they spent while trying to be promoted from as lesser league. The article concludes with an analysis of how promotion and relegation might be implemented in North America.
Volume (Year): 3 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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