IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rsd/wpaper/0029.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Contest Theory and its Applications in Sports

Author

Listed:
  • Helmut Dietl

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

  • Egon Franck

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

  • Martin Grossmann

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

  • Markus Lang

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

Abstract

This paper outlines how the theory of contests is applied to professional team sports leagues. In the first part, we present the traditional Tullock contest and explain some basic properties of the equilibrium. We will then extend this RePEc/rsd contest to a two-period model in order to analyze dynamic aspects of contests. In the second part, we will present applications of contest theory in sports. In particular, we will show how the Tullock framework is applied to models of team sports leagues. For this purpose, we will first explain the value creation process in team sports leagues and show how club revenues are related to the contest success function. Then, we present some basic modeling issues; for instance, we show how the assumption of flexible vs. fixed talent supply depends on the league under consideration and how it influences the equilibria. Furthermore, we explicate the effect of revenue sharing on competitive balance in the different models. Then we address the relationship between competitive balance and social welfare. Finally, we illustrate why many clubs tend to "overinvest" in playing talent in many team sports leagues.

Suggested Citation

  • Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Martin Grossmann & Markus Lang, 2009. "Contest Theory and its Applications in Sports," Working Papers 0029, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
  • Handle: RePEc:rsd:wpaper:0029
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/rsd/CRSA_WPS/29_CRSA_full.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Allen R. Sanderson & John J. Siegfried, 2003. "Thinking about Competitive Balance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 4(4), pages 255-279, November.
    3. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1996. "Rent-Seeking Contest When the Prize Increases with Aggregate Efforts," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 87(1-2), pages 55-66, April.
    4. Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang & Stephan Werner, 2009. "Social Welfare in Sports Leagues with Profit‐Maximizing and/or Win‐Maximizing Clubs," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 76(2), pages 375-396, October.
    5. Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2001. "The Optimal Allocation of Prizes in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 542-558, June.
    6. Michael R. Baye & Dan Kovenock & Casper G. Vries, 2005. "Comparative Analysis of Litigation Systems: An Auction-Theoretic Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 583-601, July.
    7. Martin Grossmann & Helmut Dietl & Markus Lang, 2010. "Revenue Sharing and Competitive Balance in a Dynamic Contest Model," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 36(1), pages 17-36, February.
    8. Jeffery Borland, 2003. "Demand for Sport," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 478-502, Winter.
    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. Sue Fernie & David Metcalf, 1999. "It’s Not What You Pay it’s the Way that You Pay it and that’s What Gets Results: Jockeys’ Pay and Performance," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 13(2), pages 385-411, June.
    11. Nti, Kofi O, 1997. "Comparative Statics of Contests and Rent-Seeking Games," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 43-59, February.
    12. Stefan Szymanski, 2000. "The Market for Olympic Gold Medals," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 1(4), pages 207-214, October.
    13. Rodney Fort, 2005. "The Golden Anniversary of “The Baseball Players’ Labor Marketâ€," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(4), pages 347-358, November.
    14. Klumpp, Tilman & Polborn, Mattias K., 2006. "Primaries and the New Hampshire Effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1073-1114, August.
    15. Nti, Kofi O, 1999. "Rent-Seeking with Asymmetric Valuations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(3-4), pages 415-430, March.
    16. Dan Kovenock & Michael R. Baye & Casper G. de Vries, 1996. "The all-pay auction with complete information (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 8(2), pages 291-305.
    17. Shaw, W. Douglass & Jakus, Paul M., 1996. "Travel Cost Models Of The Demand For Rock Climbing," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 1-10, October.
    18. Allen R. Sanderson, 2002. "The Many Dimensions of Competitive Balance," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 204-228, May.
    19. Simon Rottenberg, 1956. "The Baseball Players' Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 242-242.
    20. 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, July.
    21. Bognanno, Michael L, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 290-315, April.
    22. Daniel Rascher, 1997. "A model of a professional sports league," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 3(3), pages 327-328, August.
    23. Dietl, Helmut M. & Franck, Egon & Hasan, Tariq & Lang, Markus, 2009. "Governance of professional sports leagues--Cooperatives versus contracts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 127-137, June.
    24. Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio & Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "Goal! Profit maximization and win maximization in football leagues," Working Papers 0621, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
    25. Sonia Falconieri & Frédéric Palomino & József Sákovics, 2004. "Collective Versus Individual Sale of Television Rights in League Sports," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 833-862, September.
    26. Orszag, Jonathan M., 1994. "A new look at incentive effects and golf tournaments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 77-88, September.
    27. Warneryd, Karl, 2000. "In Defense of Lawyers: Moral Hazard as an Aid to Cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 145-158, October.
    28. Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang, 2008. "The Effect Of Gate Revenue Sharing On Social Welfare," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 448-459, July.
    29. Rosen, Sherwin, 1986. "Prizes and Incentives in Elimination Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 701-715, September.
    30. E. Woodrow Eckard, 2006. "Comment: "Professional Team Sports Are Only a Game: The Walrasian Fixed-Supply Conjecture Model, Contest-Nash Equilibrium, and the Invariance Principle"," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 7(2), pages 234-239, May.
    31. Maloney Michael T. & Terkun Kristina, 2002. "Road Warrior Booty: Prize Structures in Motorcycle Racing," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, April.
    32. Szymanski, Stefan & Valletti, Tommaso M., 2005. "Incentive effects of second prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 467-481, June.
    33. Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2011. "The Combined Effect Of Salary Restrictions And Revenue Sharing In Sports Leagues," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 447-463, April.
    34. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
    35. Richard Schmalensee, 1976. "A Model of Promotional Competition in Oligopoly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(3), pages 493-507.
    36. Stefan Szymanski, 2006. "Reply: "Professional Team Sports Are Only a Game: The Walrasian Fixed-Supply Conjecture Model, Contest-Nash Equilibrium, and the Invariance Principle"," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 7(2), pages 240-243, May.
    37. Amihai Glazer & Mark Gradstein, 2005. "Elections with contribution-maximizing candidates," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 467-482, March.
    38. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang, 2008. "Why football players may benefit from the ‘shadow of the transfer system’," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 129-151, October.
    39. Claudio A. Piga, 1998. "A Dynamic Model of Advertising and Product Differentiation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 13(5), pages 509-522, October.
    40. Stefan Szymanski & Stefan Késenne, 2004. "Competitive balance and gate revenue sharing in team sports," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 165-177, March.
    41. Glenn C. Loury, 1979. "Market Structure and Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 395-410.
    42. Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "Digging for Golden Carrots: An Analysis of Research Tournaments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 872-890, September.
    43. Dietl Helmut M & Lang Markus & Rathke Alexander, 2009. "The Effect of Salary Caps in Professional Team Sports on Social Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23, April.
    44. 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, July.
    45. Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang & Stephan Werner, 2009. "Social Welfare in Sports Leagues with Profit-Maximizing and/or Win-Maximizing Clubs," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 76(2), pages 375-396, October.
    46. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-1324, December.
    47. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 2007. "Rational Expectations And Pro Sports Leagues," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(3), pages 374-387, July.
    48. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
    49. Stefan Kesenne, 2000. "Revenue Sharing and Competitive Balance in Professional Team Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(1), pages 56-65, February.
    50. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414.
    51. El-Hodiri, Mohamed & Quirk, James, 1971. "An Economic Model of a Professional Sports League," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1302-1319, Nov.-Dec..
    52. James G. Lynch & Jeffrey S. Zax, 2000. "The Rewards to Running," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(4), pages 323-340, November.
    53. Scully, Gerald W, 2000. "Diminishing Returns and the Limit of Athletic Performance," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(4), pages 456-470, September.
    54. Oliver Gürtler, 2007. "A Rationale for the Coexistence of Central and Decentral Marketing in Team Sports," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(1), pages 89-106, February.
    55. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    56. Martin Grossmann & Helmut M. Dietl, 2009. "Investment Behaviour in a Two-Period Contest Model," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(3), pages 401-417, September.
    57. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    58. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The Incentive Effects of Tournaments Revisited: Evidence from the European PGA Tour," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74, April.
    59. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 649-709, Elsevier.
    60. 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 121-146, June.
    61. Farmer, Amy & Pecorino, Paul, 1999. "Legal Expenditure as a Rent-Seeking Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 271-288, September.
    62. Michael T. Maloney & Robert E. McCormick, 2000. "The Response of Workers to Wages in Tournaments," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(2), pages 99-123, May.
    63. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-898, December.
    64. Rafael Tenorio, 2000. "The Economics of Professional Boxing Contracts," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(4), pages 363-384, November.
    65. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    66. Baye, Michael R. & Hoppe, Heidrun C., 2003. "The strategic equivalence of rent-seeking, innovation, and patent-race games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-226, August.
    67. Abbigail J. Chiodo & Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "For love or money: why married men make more," The Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Apr, pages 10-11.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tommy Quansah & Bernd Frick & Markus Lang & Kieran Maguire, 2021. "The Importance of Club Revenues for Player Salaries and Transfer Expenses—How Does the Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) Impact the English Premier League?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(9), pages 1-22, May.
    2. Michela Pierini, 2011. "Diritti Tv E Competitive Balance Nel Calcio Professionistico Italiano," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 7(2), pages 87-113, September.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Markus LANG & Alexander RATHKE & Marco RUNKEL, 2010. "The Economic Consequences Of Foreigner Rules In National Sports Leagues," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 31, pages 47-64.
    2. Konrad, Kai A., 2007. "Strategy in contests: an introduction [Strategie in Turnieren – eine Einführung]," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-01, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    3. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2010. "Organizational Differences between U.S. Major Leagues and European Leagues: Implications for Salary Caps," Working Papers 0035, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA).
    4. Markus Lang & Martin Grossmann & Philipp Theiler, 2011. "The Sugar Daddy Game: How Wealthy Investors Change Competition in Professional Team Sports," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(4), pages 557-577, December.
    5. Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang & Stephan Werner, 2009. "Social Welfare in Sports Leagues with Profit‐Maximizing and/or Win‐Maximizing Clubs," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 76(2), pages 375-396, October.
    6. Martin Grossmann & Helmut Dietl & Markus Lang, 2010. "Revenue Sharing and Competitive Balance in a Dynamic Contest Model," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 36(1), pages 17-36, February.
    7. Dietl Helmut & Duschl Tobias & Franck Egon & Lang Markus, 2012. "A Contest Model of a Professional Sports League with Two-Sided Markets," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(3), pages 336-359, June.
    8. Oliver Gürtler & Markus Lang & Tim Pawlowski, 2015. "On the Release of Players to National Teams," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 16(7), pages 695-713, October.
    9. Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2011. "The Combined Effect Of Salary Restrictions And Revenue Sharing In Sports Leagues," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 447-463, April.
    10. Helmut Dietl & Rodney Fort & Markus Lang, 2011. "International Sports League Comparisons," Working Papers 0144, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    11. Emmanuel Dechenaux & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2015. "A survey of experimental research on contests, all-pay auctions and tournaments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 609-669, December.
    12. Jia, Hao & Skaperdas, Stergios & Vaidya, Samarth, 2013. "Contest functions: Theoretical foundations and issues in estimation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 211-222.
    13. Helmut M. Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2012. "Salary Cap Regulation In Professional Team Sports," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 307-319, July.
    14. Helmut Dietl & Egon Franck & Markus Lang & Alexander Rathke, 2008. "Revenue Sharing, Reserve Clause and Salary Caps in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Working Papers 0026, University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA), revised 2009.
    15. Dietl Helmut M & Duschl Tobias & Lang Markus, 2011. "Executive Pay Regulation: What Regulators, Shareholders, and Managers Can Learn from Major Sports Leagues," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-32, August.
    16. Sheremeta, Roman, 2009. "Essays on Experimental Investigation of Lottery Contests," MPRA Paper 49888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Kyung Hwan Baik & Jong Hwa Lee, 2013. "Endogenous Timing In Contests With Delegation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 2044-2055, October.
    18. Dietl, Helmut M. & Franck, Egon & Hasan, Tariq & Lang, Markus, 2009. "Governance of professional sports leagues--Cooperatives versus contracts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 127-137, June.
    19. Helmut M. Dietl & Markus Lang, 2008. "The Effect Of Gate Revenue Sharing On Social Welfare," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 448-459, July.
    20. Helmut Dietl & Tobias Duschl & Markus Lang, 2010. "Gehaltsobergrenzen und Luxussteuern: Erkenntnisse aus dem professionellen Mannschaftssport," Working Papers 0136, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contest theory; Tullock contest; sports leagues; competitive balance; revenue sharing; social welfare; overinvestment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rsd:wpaper:0029. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/isuzhch.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: IBW IT Support (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/isuzhch.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.