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The Sport League's Dilemma: Competitive Balance versus Incentives to Win

Author

Listed:
  • Frederic Palomino

    (Tilburg University & CEPR)

  • Luca Rigotti

    (Tilburg University & University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

We analyze a dynamic model of strategic interaction between a professional sport league that organizes a tournament, the teams competing to win it, and the broadcasters paying for the rights to televise it. Teams and broadcasters maximize expected profits, while the league's objective may be either to maximize the demand for the sport or to maximize the teams' joint profits. Demand depends positively on symmetry among teams (competitive balance) and how aggressively teams try to win (incentives to win). Revenue sharing increases competitive balance but decreases incentives to win. Under demand maximization, a performance-based reward scheme (used by European sport leagues) may be optimal. Under joint profit maximization, full revenue sharing (used by many US leagues) is always optimal. These results reflect institutional differences among European and American sports leagues.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederic Palomino & Luca Rigotti, 2001. "The Sport League's Dilemma: Competitive Balance versus Incentives to Win," Industrial Organization 0012003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0012003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Scully, Gerald W., 1995. "The Market Structure of Sports," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226743950, January.
    3. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 1995. "Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1265-1299, September.
    4. Frederic Palomino & Jozsef Sakovics, 2000. "Revenue sharing in professional sports leagues: for the sake of competitive balance or as a result of monopsony power?," ESE Discussion Papers 59, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    5. Stefan Szymanski & Ron Smith, 1997. "The English Football Industry: profit, performance and industrial structure," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 135-153.
    6. Thomas Hoehn & Stefan Szymanski, 1999. "The Americanization of European football," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(28), pages 203-240, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eberhard Feess & Frank Stähler, 2009. "Revenue Sharing In Professional Sports Leagues," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(2), pages 255-265, May.
    2. Pelnar, Gregory, 2007. "Antitrust Analysis of Sports Leagues," MPRA Paper 5382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Giorgo Sertsios, 2007. "¿Puede el Diseño de un Torneo Deportivo Afectar su Asistencia?," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 44(129), pages 59-89.
    4. Nicola Giocoli, 2007. "Competitive balance in football leagues when teams have different goals," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 54(3), pages 345-370, September.
    5. Paolo Di Betta & Carlo Amenta, 2012. "The Media as a Policy Instrument in Influencing the Business Model of Professional Soccer: Evidence From Italy," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 109-129, January.
    6. Mattera, Raffaele, 2017. "Motivation, workout and performance - a model for amatorial sports," MPRA Paper 79243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Stephen Easton & Duane Rockerbie, 2003. "Revenue Sharing, Conjectures, and Scarce Talent in a Model of a Professional Sports League," Industrial Organization 0303010, EconWPA.
    8. Paolo Di Betta & Carlo Amenta, 2010. "A die-hard aristocracy: competitive balance in Italian soccer, 1929-2009," Rivista di Diritto ed Economia dello Sport, Centro di diritto e business dello Sport, vol. 6(2), pages 13-40, Settembre.
    9. Michel Cavagnac, 2009. "Revenue Sharing and Competitive Balance When Teams are not Wage Takers," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 35(3), pages 299-313, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L19 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Other
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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