Advances in Sports Economics

Edited by Robert Butler

£70.00  |  $99.00
ISBN 9781788213547
£70.00  |  $99.00
ISBN 9781788213554
352 pages   |  234 x 156mm   |  11 November 2021


How do we identify the impact of superstar players? Do referees display any bias? What has happened to competitive balance? Why do players move so freely in today’s labour market? Do rule-changes influence behaviour? How effective are incentives in encouraging players to exert maximum effort? The data that professional sport generates, which is unparalleled in any other industry, provides a wealth of information to which economists can bring their analytic toolkit to answer these questions and to better understand the mechanics of professional sport.

Advances in Sports Economics is a wide-ranging collection of newly commissioned essays that examines the multifaceted field of sports economics in baseball, basketball, cricket, football, Gaelic games, horse racing, rugby and tennis. Both at the professional and amateur level, sport offers economists the opportunity to study the behaviour, choices and outcomes of decisions of players and referees as well as regulators and governments.

The contributors range across questions of incentives, rule changes, labour issues, competition structure, gambling, gender equality, match official behaviour and funding to explore the variety of applications that economic analysis can bring to the field.


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

2. Method and theory in sports economics
Robert Simmons

Part I Economics of team sports
3. Introduction to the economics of major league baseball
Rodney Fort

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

5. The economics of association football
David Butler and Robert Butler

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

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

8. The rise of T20 and the Indian premier league
Patrick Massey

Part III Economics of horse racing
9. The peculiar economics of horse racing
David Forrest

10. The rise and fall of American horse racing
Raymond Sauer

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

Part IV Economics of sports betting and sports analytics
12. The economics of sports betting and sports betting in economics
Julio del Corral and Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez

13. Information and efficiency in multi-race wagers
Raymond Sauer

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

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

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

Part VI Economics of indigenous football
17. Playing senior inter-county Gaelic games
Elish Kelly

18. 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
19. Public finance and sport
John Considine

20. Spatial distribution and sports infrastructure
John Eakins

Robert Butler

Author Information

Robert Butler is Lecturer in Economics and Director of the Centre for Sports Economics and Law at University College Cork.

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