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

Author

Listed:
  • Trenton Smith
  • Young H. Lee

    () (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Trenton Smith & Young H. Lee, 2006. "Why are Americans Addicted to Baseball? An Empirical Analysis of Fandom in Korea and the U.S," Working Papers 2006-05, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsu:wpaper:tgsmith-3
    as

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    File URL: http://faculty.ses.wsu.edu/WorkingPapers/fandom051606.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Laibson, 2001. "A Cue-Theory of Consumption," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 81-119.
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    3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2002. "Addiction and Cue-Conditioned Cognitive Processes," NBER Working Papers 9329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1998. "Myopia and Addictive Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 75-91, January.
    5. 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.
    6. O’Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3v86x53j, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    7. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", pages 125-132.
    8. O'Guinn, Thomas C & Shrum, L J, 1997. " The Role of Television in the Construction of Consumer Reality," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 278-294, March.
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    10. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-758, August.
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    13. Rodney Fort, 2004. "Inelastic sports pricing," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 87-94.
    14. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Dong C. Won & Young H. Lee, 2008. "Optimal dynamic pricing for sports games with habitual attendance," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(8), pages 639-655.
    2. Young Hoon Lee, 2013. "Estimation of temporal variations in fan loyalty: application of multi-factor models," Chapters,in: The Econometrics of Sport, chapter 8, pages 135-153 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Attendance Demand; Habit Formation; Baseball Addiction; Fan Psychology; Testosterone;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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