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Tilting the Playing Field (Why a sports league planner would choose less, not more, competitive balance): The case of English Football

Stefan Szymanski and Stephanie Leach ()
Additional contact information
Stephanie Leach: Tanaka Business School, Imperial College

No 619, Working Papers from International Association of Sports Economists, North American Association of Sports Economists

Abstract: It has traditionally been argued that the organizer of a sports league would prefer more competitive balance to the level that emerges in a noncooperative equilibrium. This argument has been used to justify restraints on competition between teams, which also tend to raise profits at the expense of players and consumers. This paper shows that in theory a planner would prefer less, not more, competitive balance. The paper uses data from the second tier of professional English league football to show just how unbalanced a league planner would choose.

Keywords: competitive balance; sports leagues; football; soccer (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D71 L25 L41 L83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
Date: 2006-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-spo
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/SzymanskiLeach_Tilting.pdf Original version completed January 2005 (application/pdf)
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