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Competitive Balance Measures in Sports Leagues: The Effects of Variation in Season Length

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  • P. Dorian Owen

    () (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

  • Nicholas King

    (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

Abstract

Appropriate measurement of competitive balance is a cornerstone of the economic analysis of professional sports leagues. We examine the distributional properties of the ratio of standard deviations (RSD) of points percentages, the most widely used measure of competitive balance in the sports economics literature, in comparison with other standard-deviation-based measures. Simulation methods are used to evaluate the effects of changes in season length on the distributions of competitive balance measures for different distributions of the strengths of teams in a league. The popular RSD measure performs as expected only in cases of perfect balance; if there is imbalance in team strengths, its distribution is very sensitive to changes in season length. This has important implications for comparisons of competitive balance for different sports leagues with different numbers of teams and/or games played.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Dorian Owen & Nicholas King, 2013. "Competitive Balance Measures in Sports Leagues: The Effects of Variation in Season Length," Working Papers 1309, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:otg:wpaper:1309
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    File URL: http://www.otago.ac.nz/economics/research/otago076643.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee Scyoc & M. Kevin McGee, 2016. "Testing for competitive balance," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1029-1043, May.
    2. Young Hoon Lee & Yongdai Kim & Sara Kim, 2018. "Unbiased Estimation of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues with Unbalanced Schedules," Working Papers 1801, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
    3. Fort, Rodney & Maxcy, Joel & Diehl, Mark, 2016. "Uncertainty by regulation: Rottenberg׳s invariance principle," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 454-467.
    4. Franziska Prockl & Dirk Semmelroth, 2018. "Perception Versus Reality - Competitive Balance In Major League Soccer From 1996 – 2016," Working Papers Dissertations 36, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
    5. Young Hoon Lee & Yongdai Kim & Sara Kim, 2016. "A Bias-Corrected Estimator of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Working Papers 1611, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
    6. 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.
    7. Murat Çiftçi, 2015. "Regional Inequality of Sport Facilities in Turkey," Eurasian Academy Of Sciences Social Sciences Journal, Eurasian Academy Of Sciences, vol. 4(4), pages 49-66, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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