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Pitfalls to Measuring Competitive Balance With Gini Coefficients

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua Utt

    (Washington State University)

  • Rodney Fort

    (Washington State University)

Abstract

League-winning percentage Gini coefficients have seen recent use as measurements of within-season competitive balance in Major League Baseball. The authors demonstrate that the zero-sum nature of league play renders past estimates inappropriate. Adjusted for league play, Gini coefficients reveal a much larger competitive balance problem than shown in previous estimates. However, additional complexities involving unbalanced schedules, interdivisional play, and now interleague play must be overcome before winning percentage Gini coefficients can give precise estimates of competitive balance. The authors suggest using the traditional measures of winning percentage standard deviations and their idealized values to analyze within-season competitive balance over time until these issues are overcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua Utt & Rodney Fort, 2002. "Pitfalls to Measuring Competitive Balance With Gini Coefficients," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(4), pages 367-373, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:3:y:2002:i:4:p:367-373
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Mizak & Anthony Stair & John Neral, 2007. "The adjusted churn: an index of competitive balance for sports leagues based on changes in team standings over time," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 26(3), pages 1-7.
    2. Ross Booth, 2005. "Comparing Competitive Balance In Australian Sports Leagues, The Afl, Nbl And Nrl: Does The Afl'S Team Salary Cap And Player Draft Measure Up?," Monash Economics Working Papers 02/05, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2007:i:3:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Booth, Ross, 2005. "Comparing Competitive Balance in Australian Sports Leagues: Does a Salary Cap and Player Draft Measure Up?," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 119-143, September.
    5. Vasileios Manasis & Vassiliki Avgerinou & Ioannis Ntzoufras & J. James Reade, 2011. "Measurement of competitive balance in professional team sports using the Normalized Concentration Ratio," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2529-2540.
    6. Anthony C. Krautmann & Lawrence Hadley, 2006. "Dynasties versus pennant races: competitive balance in major league baseball," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 287-292.
    7. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2005:i:5:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dorian Owen, 2014. "Measurement of competitive balance and uncertainty of outcome," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 3, pages 41-59 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Michela Pierini, 2011. "Diritti Tv E Competitive Balance Nel Calcio Professionistico Italiano," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 7(2), pages 87-113, September.
    11. Halicioglu Ferda, 2009. "Research on the Prediction of the likely Winners of the Euro 2008 Football Tournament," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 1-15, July.
    12. Owen, P. Dorian, 2010. "Limitations of the relative standard deviation of win percentages for measuring competitive balance in sports leagues," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 38-41, October.
    13. Raul Caruso & Ilaria Verri, 2009. "Competitive Balance dopo la sentenza Bosman: il caso della pallavolo in Italia," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 5(1), pages 59-79, Maggio.
    14. Loek Groot, 2005. "European football: Back to the 1950s," Industrial Organization 0505003, EconWPA.
    15. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2004:i:9:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. P. Owen & Michael Ryan & Clayton Weatherston, 2007. "Measuring Competitive Balance in Professional Team Sports Using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(4), pages 289-302, December.
    17. Lenten, Liam J.A., 2011. "The extent to which unbalanced schedules cause distortions in sports league tables," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 451-458, January.
    18. Daniel Mizak & Armond Rossi & Anthony Stair, 2005. "Assessing alternative competitive balance measures for sports leagues: a theoretical examination of standard deviations, gini coefficients, & the index of dissimilarity," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(5), pages 1-11.
    19. Paul, Rodney J. & Weinbach, Andrew P., 2007. "The uncertainty of outcome and scoring effects on Nielsen ratings for Monday Night Football," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 199-211.
    20. repec:rfa:afajnl:v:3:y:2017:i:2:p:49-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. 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.
    22. Rodney Fort & Young Hoon Lee, 2007. "Structural Change, Competitive Balance, And The Rest Of The Major Leagues," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 519-532, July.
    23. Dorian Owen & Caitlin Owen, 2017. "Simulation Evidence on Herfindahl-Hirschman Indices as Measures of Competitive Balance," Working Papers 1715, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2017.
    24. Meletakos, Panagiotis & Chatzicharistos, Dimitrios & Apostolidis, Nikolaos & Manasis, Vasilios & Bayios, Ioannis, 2016. "Foreign players and competitive balance in Greek basketball and handball championships," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 391-401.

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