Advances in Sports Economics

Edited by Robert Butler

£90.00  |  $125.00
ISBN 9781788213547
£90.00  |  $125.00
ISBN 9781788213554
360 pages   |  240 x 170mm   |  09 December 2021


The data that professional sport generates, which is almost unparalleled in any other industry, provides a wealth of information for the economist to analyse. Sport offers economists the opportunity to study the behaviour, choices and outcomes of the decisions of players, referees, regulators and governments.

Advances in Sports Economics is a collection of newly commissioned essays that examine a wide range of different sports, including baseball, basketball, cricket, football, horse racing, rugby, tennis and Gaelic games. The contributors consider economic issues such as incentives, rule changes, labour markets, competition structure, gambling, gender equality, match official behaviour, superstar players, funding and sports infrastructure as well as interogating the methods and theories used in sports economics.

The essays showcase how the application of economic analysis can provide us with a better understanding of the mechanics of professional sport.


1. A brief history of the economics of sport
Robert Butler

2. Methods and theories commonly applied in sports economics
Robert Simmons

3. Economics, analytics and decisions: some insights from professional team sports on the importance of context
Bill Gerrard

Part I Team sports
4. Introduction to the economics of major league baseball
Rodney Fort

5. Understanding the NBA through the lens of economic research
Alex Cardazzi and Brad R. Humphreys

6. The economics of Association Football
David Butler and Robert Butler

Part II English “bat and ball” sports
7. It’s just not cricket: rules and the gentleman’s game
James Reade, Carl Singleton and Sarah Jewell

8. Incentive effects: assessing effort and heterogeneity in professional tennis
Ferdi Botha and Byron Chadwick

9. The rise of T20 and the Indian Premier League
Patrick Massey

Part III Horse racing and sports betting
10. The peculiar economics of horse racing
David Forrest

11. Economic issues of horse racing in Ireland
Tracy Bradfield, Robert Butler and Thia Hennessy

12. All jockeys are equal but some jockeys are more equal than others
Vanessa Cashmore

13. The economics of sports betting and sports betting in economics
Julio del Corral and Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez

Part V Refereeing
14. On and off-field behaviour of match officials in professional team sports
Peter Dawson, Patrick Massey and Paul Downward

15. Do umpires prefer blonds (and other noticeable types) to take Charlie home?
Liam J. A. Lenten

Part VI Indigenous football
16. Playing senior inter-county Gaelic games: the time commitments given and consequences
Elish Kelly

17. Comparing tie breaker modes in an alternate Australia football league draft-pick allocation policy
Noel Boys and Liam J. A. Lenten

Part VII Economics of sports funding
18. Public finance and sport
John Considine

19. Spatial distribution and sports infrastructure
John Eakins

Author Information

Robert Butler is a lecturer in economics in the Centre for Sports Economics and Law at University College Cork.

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