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The impact of the 1981 and 1994-1995 strikes on Major League Baseball attendance: a time-series analysis

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  • Martin Schmidt
  • David Berri

Abstract

Protracted labour disputes in professional team sports have become increasingly common in the past 30 years. Although each of the four major professional team sports in the USA have experienced episodes of labour strife, Major League Baseball has the longest and most frequent experience with labour-management conflict. Fans and the media claim with each incident permanent harm is done to baseball's standing as the national pastime. The purpose of this paper is to ascertain whether such claims can be supported by the empirical evidence. Utilizing time-series analysis, aggregate attendance at professional baseball games is examined. The evidence presented suggests that although the most protracted periods of labour discord had short-term impacts on attendance, there is no empirical evidence that these exogenous shocks had any long-term effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Schmidt & David Berri, 2002. "The impact of the 1981 and 1994-1995 strikes on Major League Baseball attendance: a time-series analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 471-478.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:34:y:2002:i:4:p:471-478 DOI: 10.1080/00036840110044162
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    Cited by:

    1. Young Hoon Lee & Jigyu Chung & Joonho Kang, 2012. "Ex Ante and Ex Post Expectation of Outcome Uncertainty and Television Viewership of a Baseball Game," Working Papers 1206, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
    2. Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson, 2015. "Many Happy Returns? The Pro-Bowl, Mega-events, and Tourism in Hawaii," Working Papers 1501, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    3. Robert Baumann & Victor Matheson & Chihiro Muroi, 2008. "Bowling in Hawaii: Examining the Effectiveness of Sports-Based Tourism Strategies," Working Papers 0808, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    4. Young Lee & Rodney Fort, 2008. "Attendance and the Uncertainty-of-Outcome Hypothesis in Baseball," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 33(4), pages 281-295, December.
    5. Eiji Yamamura, 2011. "Game Information, Local Heroes, and Their Effect on Attendance: The Case of the Japanese Baseball League," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 12(1), pages 20-35, February.
    6. Brian Mills & Rodney Fort, 2014. "League-Level Attendance And Outcome Uncertainty In U.S. Pro Sports Leagues," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 205-218, January.
    7. Rodney Fort & Young Hoon Lee, 2013. "Major League Baseball attendance time series: league policy lessons," Chapters,in: The Econometrics of Sport, chapter 2, pages 35-50 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Tony Caporale & Trevor Collier, 2015. "Are We Getting Better or Are They Getting Worse? Draft Position, Strength of Schedule, and Competitive Balance in the National Football League," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 291-300, September.

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