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Decomposing competitive balance in the major European football leagues : a Rawlsian approach

Author

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  • Santiago-Caballero, Carlos
  • Fernández-Roldán Díaz, Alejandro

Abstract

The study of competitive balance in sports has received considerable attention in the academic literature, mainly as a consequence of the effect that it could have on the interest of society in the competitions analyzed. However, most of the studies have focused on the total competitive balance, without taking into account the methodological importance of decomposing it. This paper analyzes competitive balance in the Spanish, English, Italian and German football leagues between 1975 and 2016, and the internal dynamics behind the changes experienced. Our results show a considerable decrease in the total competitive balance in recent decades, although the dynamics behind the increases in inequality are different in the four leagues. Focusing on Rawlsian principles, our analysis shows that the Spanish competition is the only league in which the promoted teams do not have a higher probability of being relegated, and therefore, the competition in which incumbent teams suffer lower entry barriers and have higher chances of survival.

Suggested Citation

  • Santiago-Caballero, Carlos & Fernández-Roldán Díaz, Alejandro, 2017. "Decomposing competitive balance in the major European football leagues : a Rawlsian approach," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 24658, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:whrepe:24658
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Football;

    JEL classification:

    • Z20 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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