Sports League Expansion and Economic Efficiency: Monopoly Can Enhance Consumer Welfare

33 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2004

See all articles by Lawrence M. Kahn

Lawrence M. Kahn

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 2003

Abstract

This paper studies optimal sport league size. League expansion lowers average player quality, reducing fans' utility in inframarginal locations, while fan utility in new locations rises. Welfare analyses of such expansions must compare these two effects. Using a model where fan demand depends on average player quality and locality-specific factors, I find that under various pricing schemes, optimal league size is smaller than under free entry: the marginal team ignores its effects on inframarginal fans' utility. In some cases, the monopoly outcome is optimal, while in others the optimum league size is between the competitive and monopoly solutions.

JEL Classification: L1, L4

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Lawrence M., Sports League Expansion and Economic Efficiency: Monopoly Can Enhance Consumer Welfare (December 2003). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1101. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=484962

Lawrence M. Kahn (Contact Author)

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations ( email )

265 Ives Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
607-255-0510 (Phone)
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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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