IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spe/wpaper/0620.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Tilting the Playing Field: Why a sports league planner would choose less, not more, competitive balance

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Szymanski

    () (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College)

Abstract

It has traditionally been argued that the organizer of a sports league would prefer more competitive balance to the level that emerges in a noncooperative equilibrium. This argument has been used to justify restraints on competition between teams, which also tend to raise profits at the expense of players and consumers. This paper shows that in theory a planner would prefer less, not more, competitive balance. The paper uses data from Major League Baseball to show just how unbalanced a league planner would choose.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0620
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/Szymanski_Tilting.pdf
    File Function: Original version completed October 2004
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daniel, Rascher, 1999. "A Test of the Optimal Positive Production Network Externality in Major League Baseball," MPRA Paper 25832, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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, March.
    3. Glenn Knowles & Keith Sherony & Mike Haupert, 1992. "The Demand for Major League Baseball: A Test of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 36(2), pages 72-80, October.
    4. Stefan KÉsenne, 2004. "Competitive Balance and Revenue Sharing," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 5(2), pages 206-212, May.
    5. Stefan Szymanski, 2003. "The Economic Design of Sporting Contests," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1137-1187, December.
    6. Brad R. Humphreys, 2002. "Alternative Measures of Competitive Balance in Sports Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(2), pages 133-148, May.
    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. Budzinski, Oliver & Pawlowski, Tim, 2014. "The behavioural economics of competitive balance: Implications for league policy and championship management," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 89, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    2. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Budzinski, Oliver & Feddersen, Arne, 2015. "Grundlagen der Sportnachfrage: Theorie und Empirie der Einflussfaktoren auf die Zuschauernachfrage," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 94, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    4. Oliver Budzinski, 2011. "The Institutional Framework for Doing Sports Business: Principles of EU Competition Policy in Sports Markets," Working Papers 108/11, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    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, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 375-396, October.
    6. Stefan Szymanski, 2010. "Teaching Competition in Professional Sports Leagues," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 150-168, March.
    7. Stefan Szymanski, 2007. "The Champions League And The Coase Theorem," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 54(3), pages 355-373, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    competitive balance; sports leagues; baseball;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • 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:spe:wpaper:0620. 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: (Victor Matheson). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iaseeea.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 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.

    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.