Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Economics of Sports

Just in case some of you are interested. :) There's a growing field in Econ now, dealing with the Econ of Sports. I took a seminar in it a few years ago - very interesting.

Before you read any of this (if you're interested) - which sport pays the highest: football, baseball, basketball, or hockey?

An article to think about:

http://www.econlib.org/LIBRARY/Columns/y2004/Sandersonsports.html


And a blog:
http://www.thesportseconomist.com/

And, if you really feel like reading college-level material, a professional article:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu/Econ/faculty/Vrooman/general.pdf


No, it's not really what we're on, although as it was pointed out, some of it is supply & demand. It's an interesting topic, though. Salaries are paid for a reason. :)

8 comments:

Ashley said...

My guess, before reading everything, would be that football pays their players the most. Pro football is the most popular of those sports in America I believe, so it would only seem logical that they are paid the most.

keri said...

Alrighty.. Before I even read the links and everything, I would have to say that football and baseball are probably the most highly paid professionals. Football is pretty important here in America, but baseball is America's Favorite Pastime. So waht is this whole Econ of Sports stuff? I mean, is it the kind of thing you can major in in some Universities? That would a weird major to say that you have to your name. Well I was looking at thesportseconomist.com and it says that in Italy, the biggest industry (not just in sports) is soccer/football. That's kind of weird. And have you looked at this site recently? The Dodgers are opening one of their pavillions to be an all you can eat of hot dogs seats. Pretty weird the way that people will bring fans into the stadium. With that done and read, I would say that Football is the most paid. After all, to get fans to attend the games they don't have to offer all you can eat hot dogs.... so it seems baseball is the loser here.

Mary Hable said...

My guess is good-looking Rockstars/soccer players are the best paid. Mostly David Beckham.

KM said...

Didn't David Beckham just get a sweet deal with Los Angeles? I'm pretty sure he became the highest paid soccer player in the world with that deal. I remember hearing that somewhere.

Econ of Sports - I'm not sure if it's strong enough to be an "official" major yet, but I do know that many universities are offering more and more courses on it. Very interesting stuff!

nick_oehlrich said...

Im thinking that baseball players would be paid the most. It seems that is has always been like that seeing how baseball was the firts big time sport in America. But other sports are catching up specially football.

D Mac said...

before reading this i would probably have to say that football players are paid the most, but would like to say that i think baseball players salaries are talked about more.

kfbare said...

Well, I guess I am the only one who cheated and looked at the links to see that football and ice hockey give smaller salaries than baseball which is beat by the NBA who hands out almost $5 million to some players. I liked that article. It made you think about critisizing pro athletes when your favorite actresses and actors are getting paid much more or doing some of the same things. Some of things Sanderson mentioned had to do with opportunity cost. He compared Reese Witherspoon dropping out of Stanford after a year to Carmello Anthony dropping out after a year. No one said anything about Witherspoon, but of course there was a fuss about Anthony. But why would Carmello want to waste his money on a pointless degree when he could be playing basketball with a contract for millions per year?? The same reason Reese decided to star in Legally Blonde instead of going to class. I also liked the comparison of steroids to cosmetic surgery. When the competition gets fierce, its not just athletes who have to be at their best. There are stars out there who can barely call anything on their face their own, but they aren't getting punished for enhancing their possibilities for success like Barry Bonds is. I like this stuff... sports management is something I would consider

KM said...

I thought that was an interesting comparison, too, Katie - you NEVER hear about Reese Witherspoon dropping out of college. You hear about college sports guys going on to the big leagues or you hear about ...crap. Brain fart. Microsoft dude. Dropped out of Harvard. Or Stanford.

Seriously, my brain feels fried. SOOoooo glad I'm here until 8pm tonight. ;)

Anyway - I think a lot of people point out that pro sports is not a lifelong deal, no matter how great you are (the body will give out eventually...yes, even for Brett Favre...) where acting could be your lifelong career. But then again, how did Reese W know she'd make it big?

Not everyone can go to college. Not everyone can graduate from college. Scarcity creates value. If everyone does it, it loses value. Ever heard commentators say that college is the new high school? That's why. If colleges have to "dumb down" curriculum so that more people can get in and graduate, they drop the value of that education.