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Social Welfare in Sports Leagues with Profit-Maximizing and/or Win-Maximizing Clubs

  • Helmut Dietl

    ()

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Markus Lang

    ()

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Stephan Werner

    ()

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

This paper develops a contest model to compare social welfare in homogeneous leagues in which all clubs maximize identical objective functions with mixed leagues in which clubs maximize different objective functions. We show that homogeneous leagues in which all clubs are profit-maximizers dominate all other leagues whereas mixed leagues in which small-market clubs are profit- and large-market clubs are win-maximizers (type-I mixed leagues) are dominated by all other leagues. In addition, we show that, from a welfare perspective, large-market clubs win too often in (purely) win-maximizing and type-I mixed leagues whereas small-market clubs win too many games in (purely) profit-maximizing leagues and in mixed leagues in which large-market clubs are profit- and small-market clubs are win-maximizers (type-II mixed leagues). These results have important policy implications: Social welfare will increase if clubs are reorganized from non-profit members associations to profit-maximizing corporations. Moreover, it is socially desirable to reorganize large-market clubs first because, in mixed leagues, it is better if large-market clubs maximize profits instead of small-market clubs. Finally, we show that the invariance proposition does not hold in any league. In mixed (homogeneous) leagues, revenue sharing decreases (increases) social welfare. Given these results, homogeneous leagues should introduce revenue sharing; mixed leagues should not.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/rsd/CRSA_WPS/22_CRSA_full.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA) in its series Working Papers with number 0022.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision: Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:rsd:wpaper:0022
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  1. Helmut Dietl & Markus Lang, 2006. "The Effect of Gate Revenue-Sharing on Social Welfare," Working Papers 0012, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA), revised 2007.
  2. Helmut Dietl & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2007. "The Effect of Salary Caps in Professional Team Sports on Social Welfare," Working Papers 0016, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
  3. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
  4. Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "Tilting the Playing Field: Why a sports league planner would choose less, not more, competitive balance," Working Papers 0620, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
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  8. Daniel Rascher, 1997. "A model of a professional sports league," International Advances in Economic Research, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 3(3), pages 327-328, August.
  9. Christian Riis & Derek J. Clark, 1997. "Contest success functions: an extension," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 11(1), pages 201-204.
  10. Stefan Késenne, 2014. "The Economic Theory of Professional Team Sports," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15211, April.
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  14. Helmut M. Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang, 2008. "Overinvestment In Team Sports Leagues: A Contest Theory Model," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 55(3), pages 353-368, 07.
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  19. Stefan Szymanski & Stefan KÈsenne, 2004. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 165-177, 03.
  20. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
  21. James R. Hines, 1999. "Three Sides of Harberger Triangles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 167-188, Spring.
  22. Scott E. Atkinson & Linda R. Stanley & John Tschirhart, 1988. "Revenue Sharing as an Incentive in an Agency Problem: An example from the National Football League," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 27-43, Spring.
  23. John Vrooman, 2007. "Theory Of The Beautiful Game: The Unification Of European Football," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(3), pages 314-354, 07.
  24. Sloane, Peter J, 1971. "The Economics of Professional Football: The Football Club as a Utility Maximiser," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 18(2), pages 121-46, June.
  25. Vrooman, John, 2000. "The Economics of American Sports Leagues," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(4), pages 364-98, September.
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