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Why are Americans Addicted to Baseball? An Empirical Analysis of Fandom in Korea and the U.S

  • Trenton Smith
  • Young H. Lee

    ()

    (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)

Theories of rational addiction posit that certain habit -forming goods "characterized by an increasing marginal utility of consumption "generate predictable dynamic patterns of consumer behavior. It has been suggested that attendance at sporting events represents an example of such a good, as evidenced by the pricing strategies of commercial sports interests. In this essay, we provide new evidence in support of rational addiction for the case of Major League Baseball, but fail to find such support in data from the Korean Professional Baseball League. We then review the scientific literature on sports fans from the perspective of human behavioral ecology and propose a theory of endogenous habit formation among sports fans that could explain our findings.

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File URL: http://faculty.ses.wsu.edu/WorkingPapers/fandom051606.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University in its series Working Papers with number 2006-05.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:tgsmith-3
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  1. Laibson, David I., 2000. "A Cue-Theory of Consumption," Scholarly Articles 4481496, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences," Working Papers 02-10, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Addiction and Cue-Conditioned Cognitive Processes," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000052, www.najecon.org.
  4. Rodney Fort, 2004. "Inelastic sports pricing," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 87-94.
  5. Marc Poitras, 2006. "Do New Major League Ballparks Pay for Themselves?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 2275-2300, September.
  6. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  8. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-58, August.
  9. Smith, Trenton G. & Tasnadi, Attila, 2005. "A Theory of Natural Addiction," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19195, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  10. Gary S.Grossman Becker & Michael Murphy & Kevin M., 1991. "Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 68, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  11. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1998. "Myopia and Addictive Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 75-91, January.
  12. O'Guinn, Thomas C & Shrum, L J, 1997. " The Role of Television in the Construction of Consumer Reality," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 278-94, March.
  13. Lawrence Hadley & Anthony Krautmann, 2005. "Demand issues: The product market for professional sportsAbstract:," IASE Conference Papers 0515, International Association of Sports Economists.
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