The Political Economy of Professional Sport
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The Political Economy of Professional Sport

  • New Horizons in the Economics of Sport series

Jean-François Bourg and Jean-Jacques Gouguet

This timely book offers a critical interpretation of the traditional social and economic accounts of sport. It provides an incisive analysis of professional sport and defines alternative foundations to the present model. The authors demonstrate that professional sport is an extremely complex phenomenon encompassing many unique factors depending on its global reach, financing and organization.
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Chapter 5: The Segmentation of the Sports Labour Market: Three Examples

Jean-François Bourg and Jean-Jacques Gouguet

Extract

5. The segmentation of the sports labour market: three examples In the field of the economics of professional sport, the labour market has a very specific importance, insofar as the sporting spectacle is mainly produced by the human factor. That is why, from the very start of sport economics, many works have been dedicated to the sports labour market, where most of the problems encountered in this branch of activity are concentrated: the mobility of players and the consequences for competitive balance, wage levels, revenue sharing, negotiating collective agreements and so on. The economic analysis of the sports labour market thus exceeds the very restrictive limit of just one chapter and we must try to reduce our field of study. The first selection concerns the subjects dealt with. The labour economy is generally (Cahuc and Zylberberg, 2003) chock-full of queries relating to very varied issues: the behaviour of agents in the market according to various incentives (salaries and bonuses) and when the information is not balanced; the importance of qualified labour; the analysis of wage formation; determining the causes of unemployment and the impact of working regulations, and so on. With regard to sport economics, it is certainly the analysis of player mobility on the labour market that is at the heart of most contemporary work, and we have used three examples of the problems posed by this mobility and its regulation: player training, player transfers and players’ agents. The second selection concerns the choice of theoretical input. It has,...

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