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Thadeu Gasparetto and Angel Barajas

Competitive balance is one of the central topics in sports economics. Seminal papers indicate that higher levels of competitiveness would drive interest of fans, boosting broadcast and tickets demand, and consequently increasing revenues for clubs and leagues. A broad literature is found inspecting competitive balance in professional football leagues, but no previous works have examined this matter at national-team level. This chapter fills this gap, observing variations of competitiveness over the history. The methods comprise two steps: a descriptive analysis of goals scored in friendly and official tournaments matches from 1900 to 2018; and an ordinary least squares (OLS) model inspecting the determinants of competitiveness in the last six Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cups. The results show evidences that the football at national-team level is becoming more competitive over time, reflected by smaller differences of goals scored and more uncertainty in matches of recent FIFA World Cups.

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Luis Carlos Sánchez, Angel Barajas and Patricio Sánchez-Fernández

The influence of market size, purchasing power or sport success in sport pricing policies has been studied. However, the influence of competitive balance and clubs’ ownership is still under-investigated. This chapter covers this gap and studies the effect of both of these on the price of the season tickets for teams of the four main European football leagues from 2014 to 2017. The results show that the competitive unbalance of a league has a positive influence on the price of season tickets. A possible explanation is that fans of teams paid an extra price for competing with more powerful teams that can provide the ‘star effect’. The results also show that a greater concentration of ownership implies more expensive season tickets. These results are in line with the theory that the participation of customer and stakeholder-orientated owners in firms avoids excessive prices in non-competitive situations.