“Competitive Balance in a Professional Sports League: A Simulation Exercise”

The Business of Sport – Seminar Series

Room G01 – Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London WC1 7HX

Wednesday 16th April 2008 at 6pm
(For directions click here)

“Competitive Balance in a Professional Sports League: A Simulation Exercise”

Given by:

Professor Stefan Szymanski, Cass Business School


The operation of economic competition between clubs in a sports league has been hotly debated by academics and policy makers in recent years. Conventional wisdom has it that economic inequalities will lead to a sporting competition that is so unbalanced that the league as a whole will suffer. On this basis redistributive policies are advocated in order to make competition more balanced and therefore more attractive. Using the standard economic model of a contest it is possible to construct a simulation exercise in which participants can play the role of club managers/owners, deciding how much to spend on purchasing talent in a non-cooperative environment. The simulation exercise can be played over several rounds. This exercise illustrates the concept of a Nash equilibrium and highlights some interesting properties of the competitive equilibrium that do not accord with the conventional wisdom.


Professor Szymanski’s most recent working papers on sports economics can be found here

For further details on this Seminar Series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Email: or Tel: 020-7631 6763

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