nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2020‒11‒09
one paper chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Are French Football Fans Sensitive to Outcome Uncertainty By Luc Arrondel; Richard Duhautois

  1. By: Luc Arrondel (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Richard Duhautois (CEET - Centre d'études de l'emploi et du travail - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM] - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Santé, LIRSA - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche en sciences de l'action - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM])
    Abstract: The idea that competitive balance increases the utility of fans, and therefore their spending and the revenue of professional clubs, lies at the heart of sports economics in general and the economics of football in particular. This notion of competitive balance is often invoked to explain the decisions of professional leagues to change the rules of competitions or the distribution of TV rights. However, the empirical literature shows that the relationship between competitive balance and fan demand is far from obvious. In this paper, we examine the idea of competitive balance as perceived by football fans. In the case of Ligue 1, it is mainly explained by medium-and long-term uncertainty, while in the case of the Champions League it is more a matter of long-term suspense. But uncertainty over the outcome is far from being the only factor explaining the demand for football since around 30% of fans report that they would always be willing to attend or watch games even in the hypothetical case that there is no suspense left. JEL Classification: D12, L83
    Keywords: uncertainty of outcome hypothesis,competitive balance,demand for football
    Date: 2020–04–17

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