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Behavioral and sports economics

In: Handbook of Behavioral Industrial Organization


  • Dennis Coates
  • Brad R. Humphreys


This chapter reviews existing theoretical and empirical literature on the intercollegiate and professional sports industries, including professional and intercollegiate sports leagues and the fitness center/health club industry, from a behavioral economic perspective. Since firm and industry outputs, firm input choices and consumer decisions in sports are readily observable and standard economic models of rational choice generate clear predictions about what firms and consumers should do, the sports industry is a natural industrial setting for behavioral economic research. The chapter covers behavioral biases in decisions made by teams and team managers, behavioral biases resulting from industry-wide policies in the sports industry like entry drafts, behavioral biases in decisions made by referees and biases in interpreting industry outcomes. It also examines behavioral biases in decisions made by customers in the industry, sports fans, and finally turns to the impact of behavioral biases on contracts and consumer choices in the fitness center/health club industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Coates & Brad R. Humphreys, 2018. "Behavioral and sports economics," Chapters, in: Victor J. Tremblay & Elizabeth Schroeder & Carol Horton Tremblay (ed.), Handbook of Behavioral Industrial Organization, chapter 12, pages 307-342, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:16609_12

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    Economics and Finance;


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