IJSF 4.4

Volume 4, Issue 4 of the IJSF is now available on-line.  For all I know, it may be in some subscriber’s mailboxes in print form as well. My mail comes via Canada Post, perhaps the worst public mail system I have every experienced.  Seriously.  The postal system in the Czech Republic was better when I lived there 8 years ago.  I get my print copy many months after publication. 

IJSF 4.4 marks the end of the first year of the Simmons/Frick/Humphreys editorial troika, and contains four papers.  I think it’s a strong issue, with contributions from a number of notable sports economists including the most recent contribution from Wolfgang Maennig and his Hamburg research team, a betting paper from the Paul-Weinbach team and friends, a provocative NCAA paper by long-time collaborators Alexander and Kern, and a paper by noted European theorist Stefan Kesenne on a topic, optimal league size, that has been long neglected in the literature.  Here are the titles and abstracts:

Arne Feddersen, Ande Leao Grotzinger, and Wolfgang Maennig, “Investment in Stadia and Regional Economic Development: Evidence from FIFA World Cup 2006

Abstract: Using the case of the new stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany, this paper is the first multivariate work that examines the potential income and employment effects of new stadiums outside of the USA. This study is also the first work on this topic that conducts tests on the basis of a (serial correlation consistent) Difference-in-Difference model with level and trends. As a robustness check, we use the “ignoring time series information” model in a form that is modified for non-synchronous interventions. We were not able to identify income or employment effects of the construction of new stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2006, which are significantly different from zero.

Donald L. Alexander and William Kern, “The Impact of Athletic Performance on Tuition Rates

Abstract: This paper explores the impact of intercollegiate athletic performance on tuition rates. A number of recent studies have examined the advertising effect generated by participation in intercollegiate sports. These studies have attempted to ascertain whether athletic performance improves student quality, graduation rates, and state appropriations. Only one previous paper examines the impact of intercollegiate athletics on tuition, and it found a positive impact on out-of-state tuition rates from participation in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In this paper, we find that athletic performance as measured by win-loss records in football and basketball impacts both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates, though it appears that the effects are largely confined to members of the six major power conferences.

Rodney J. Paul, Andrew P. Weinbach, Richard Borghesi and Mark Wilson, “Using Betting Market Odds to Measure the Uncertainty of Outcome in Major League Baseball

Abstract: Betting market odds for Major League Baseball are used to examine the level of uncertainty of outcome, an ex-ante form of competitive balance. The efficient markets hypothesis cannot be rejected for the years 1990-2006 in Major League Baseball. Therefore, the odds provide an ex-ante measure of the uncertainty of outcome of baseball games in the minds of fans and bettors. The odds for both the American and National Leagues were shown to increase during the 1990s, implying more certainty in the expected outcome of the game. Bettors and fans believed favorites in Major League Baseball were more likely to win during this time frame. Differences in the average odds, formed ex-ante, compared to win percentages, formed ex-post, help to explain the dichotomy found in Schmidt and Berri (2001) in relation to public belief in less competitiveness compared to economic findings of relatively high levels of competitive balance.

Stefan Kesenne, “The Optimal Size of a Sports League

Abstract: In this contribution, based on a simple theoretical approach, we try to show that the number of teams that is optimal to a monopoly league, being a cartel of clubs and acting in the interest of the participating or insider clubs only, is smaller than the welfare optimal number of teams in a league, which also takes into account the interests of the spectators.


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