nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2007‒01‒14
one paper chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of the Beira Interior

  1. A Theory of the Evolution of Modern Sport By Stefan Szymanski

  1. By: Stefan Szymanski (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College)
    Abstract: This paper argues that modern sport developed out of new forms of associativity created during the European enlightenment. It argues that the fundamental unit of modern sport is the club, and that these associations developed autonomously in Britain during the eighteenth century following the retreat of the state from the control of associative activities. The evolution of modern sports thus formed part of the expansion of private associative activity that occurred in the Anglo-Saxon world. By contrast, in countries such as France and Germany where associativity continued to require the explicit or implicit license of the state, modern sports developed in ways consistent with or even in the service of the objectives of the state, most notably the need to maintain military preparedness.
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2006–11

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