Compensating differentials and the social benefits of the NFL
The authors use hedonic rent and wage equations to measure the compensating differentials that obtain in central cities with franchises of the National Football League. They use repeated observations of cities over time and thereby obtain identification of the NFL effect through franchise expansion and movement. The authors find that rents are roughly 8 percent higher and wages are 4 percent lower in cities with franchises, though the latter of these two effects is not significant. Thus, professional sports franchises appear to be a public good by adding to the quality-of-life in cities. The authors' findings suggest that once the quality-of-life benefits are included in the calculus, the seemingly large public expenditure on new stadiums appears to be a good investment for cities and their residents.
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