A Practical Guide to Measuring Competitive Balance

A Practical Guide to Measuring Competitive Balance

Fecha: abril 2019

Brad R. Humphreys

Deporte, Economía del deporte, Ligas deportivas, Balance competitivo

Sports (and) Economics

EN: Competitive balance (CB) represents a core concept in sports economics. Measuring competitive balance constitutes a key aspect of empirical research. Researchers face many choices when analyzing competitive balance. This paper summarizes several commonly used CB measures, their calculation, and strengths and weaknesses. I argue that static CB measures display sensitivity to league characteristics and an inability to reflect relative changes in standings over time. Less commonly used dynamic CB measures can reflect relative changes in standings, but can be analytically more difficult to implement and applied only to outcomes over time, not to individual seasons. Application of these CB measures to Major League Baseball 1906-2015 illustrates key differences between static and dynamic measures that researchers should take into account when choosing a CB balance measure.

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