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Subsidized Monopolists and Product Prices: The Case of Major League Baseball


  • Phillip Miller

    () (Department of Economics, Minnesota State University)


In this paper, I analyze the setting of ticket prices when teams receive subsidization from the public. I model teams as entertainment providers, where entertainment is generated by selling wins and amenities. I argue that subsidization of teams generally comes from subsidizing the amenities in and surrounding the teams’ stadiums. Subsidization of the amenities lowers the marginal cost of providing them to fans and should drive ticket prices lower. The empirical analysis suggests that this is the case.

Suggested Citation

  • Phillip Miller, 2006. "Subsidized Monopolists and Product Prices: The Case of Major League Baseball," Working Papers 0629, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0629

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krautmann, Anthony C, 1999. "What's Wrong with Scully-Estimates of a Player's Marginal Revenue Product," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(2), pages 369-381, April.
    2. Scully, Gerald W, 1974. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 915-930, December.
    3. John Goddard & Peter J. Sloane, 2005. "Economics of sport," Chapters,in: Economics Uncut, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Koh, Francis & Walter, Terry, 1989. "A direct test of Rock's model of the pricing of unseasoned issues," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 251-272, August.
    5. Christopher R. Bollinger & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2003. "The Upside Potential of Hiring Risky Workers: Evidence from the Baseball Industry," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 923-944, October.
    6. Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-883, December.
    7. Gary Charness & Dan Levin, 2009. "The Origin of the Winner's Curse: A Laboratory Study," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 207-236, February.
    8. Anthony Krautmann, 2009. "Market size and the demand for talent in major league baseball," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3267-3273.
    9. Roll, Richard, 1986. "The Hubris Hypothesis of Corporate Takeovers," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 197-216, April.
    10. Paul M. Sommers & Noel Quinton, 1982. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball: The Case of the First Family of Free Agents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 426-436.
    11. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Hiring Risky Workers," NBER Working Papers 5334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    Sports; Baseball;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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