How Sensitive are Sports Fans to Unemployment?

18 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2021

See all articles by James Reade

James Reade

University of Reading

Jan C. van Ours

Tinbergen Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2021


We analyze attendance of professional football matches in England finding that it is related to unemployment over a very long period of time. More unemployment leads to lower attendances. Distinguishing between leagues, we find that the relationship is larger for lower leagues, i.e. attendance of lower quality football events are more sensitive to fluctuations in unemployment.

Suggested Citation

Reade, James and van Ours, Jan C., How Sensitive are Sports Fans to Unemployment? (May 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16171, Available at SSRN:

James Reade (Contact Author)

University of Reading ( email )

Jan C. Van Ours

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA

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