Why are Americans Addicted to Baseball? An Empirical Analysis of Fandom in Korea and the U.S.

36 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2007

Abstract

Theories of rational addiction posit that certain habit-forming goods - characterized by an increasing marginal utility of consumption - generate predictable dynamic patterns of consumer behavior. It has been suggested that attendance at sporting events represents an example of such a good, as evidenced by the pricing strategies of commercial sports interests. In this essay, we provide new evidence in support of rational addiction for the case of Major League Baseball, but fail to find such support in data from the Korean Professional Baseball League. We then review the scientific literature on sports fans from the perspective of human behavioral ecology and propose a theory of endogenous habit formation among sports fans that could explain our findings.

Keywords: Attendance Demand, Habit Formation, Baseball Addiction, Fan Psychology, Testosterone

JEL Classification: C32, D83, D87, D91, L83

Suggested Citation

Lee, Young Hoon and Smith, Trenton G., Why are Americans Addicted to Baseball? An Empirical Analysis of Fandom in Korea and the U.S.. Contemporary Economic Policy, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=979191

Young Hoon Lee

Sogang University ( email )

Seoul 121-742
Korea Republic of (South Korea)

HOME PAGE: http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/yhnlee/

Trenton G. Smith (Contact Author)

University of Otago ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/econ/staff/smith.html

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