Competitive Balance

Brad R. Humphreys and Nicholas M. Watanabe

in The Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387773
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Competitive Balance

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This chapter describes the uncertainty-of-outcome hypothesis and the seminal research of Simon Rottenberg, and then elaborates on the way that competitive balance is measured. Next, the exchange between Zimbalist and Fort and Maxcy about the nature of research on competitive balance and the effect of this exchange on subsequent literature are explored. Finally, the chapter surveys the research on competitive balance in promotion-and-relegation leagues, a common league arrangement outside of North America. Rottenberg's influence on sports economics is as great as that of any other economist to date, and knowledge of this seminal work is essential to understanding research in sports economics. Each of the many measures of competitive balance has relative strengths and weaknesses, and each captures a different element of competitive balance. It is difficult to determine whether one league has better competitive balance than another, because of the sensitivity of many competitive-balance measures to league composition and structure.

Keywords: competitive balance; uncertainty of outcome; Simon Rottenberg; Zimbalist; Fort; Maxcy; North America; sports economics

Article.  9078 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Industry Studies ; Financial Institutions and Services

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