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Who made Who? An Empirical Analysis of Competitive Balance in European Soccer Leagues

Leif Brandes () and Egon Franck ()

No 4, Working Papers from University of Zurich, Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA)

Abstract: There is an on-going debate about the optimal degree of team solidarity in professional European soccer leagues. Support for a high degree of team solidarity has been coming from the theory of competitive balance. Within this theory, attendance has always been referred to as the endogenous variable, stating that diminished uncertainty of outcome will result in a lack of attendance demand. This paper takes a new approach towards the relation between competitive balance and attendance demand. First, we show why this relationship might be reversed. Based on seasonal average match attendance and different measures of competitive balance for several soccer leagues in Europe, this paper then presents results using vector autoregressive models and Granger causality tests. Regarding the analyzed relationship, our results clearly show the existence of heterogeneity across different leagues and for tiers within a league.

Keywords: competitive balance; sports leagues; Granger Causality; VAR models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C13 C32 L83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2005, Revised 2006
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Published in: Eastern Economic Journal 2007, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 379-403.

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