John Goddard and Peter J. Sloane The economics of sport has proved to be an area of fascination for economists for a number of reasons, but the focus has been on the economics of professional team sports to the relative neglect of non-team sports such as golf, boxing, athletics, swimming, horse-riding and auto sports. Though these can be and have been organized on a team basis this is usually not an essential element and the teams are not generally organized into leagues that are ranked in order of playing success over the season. The same neglect is true of amateur or participant, as opposed to spectator sports, though the numbers involved in these activities are markedly greater than those who choose to watch professionals as live spectators rather than as television viewers. There are two main reasons why economists should be interested in team sports. First, professional team sports can substitute for a laboratory for economists, since we can observe operations normally out of the public eye and also measure directly the productivity of individual employees because of the richness of the available data. Second, leagues have indulged in various forms of behaviour such as cartel behaviour, which would certainly be regarded as anti-competitive in a conventional industry and thus raise important issues for competition policy. Such issues have come to the fore both in North America and Europe, but the means of dealing with them have diﬀered to such a degree that reference has been made to the...
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