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Review of Industrial Organization

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 175–190 | Cite as

A Prospective Analysis of Competitive Balance Levels in Major League Soccer

  • Carlos Gomez-GonzalezEmail author
  • Julio del Corral
  • R. Todd Jewell
  • Jorge García-Unanue
  • Cornel Nesseler
Article

Abstract

This study introduces a graphical methodology to the analysis of competitive balance in sports, which is prospective in nature and captures more subtleties than commonly-used retrospective measures. Thus, this study examines the evolution of competitive balance in Major League Soccer from 2004 to 2015, including the potential role played by certain league policies. For this purpose, we use prospective measures, based on probabilities that are extracted from betting odds (ex-ante) and on retrospective indicators (ex-post). The results differ slightly when analyzing competitive balance and predicting attendance. However, the graphical measures provide additional practical information about the characteristics of competitive balance.

Keywords

Betting odds Competitive balance MLS Soccer 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Ph.D. Leonor Gallardo for her former contribution to this paper, which is a revised version of the undergraduate thesis of Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez. Moreover, the authors would like to thank the reviewers for their thoughtful comments and, especially the editor for the effort to improve the paper. This contribution benefited from the financial support of the government of Castilla-La Mancha (Project PPII-2014-004-A) and the funds for international visiting scholars stays at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (2017).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic Analysis and FinanceUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaCiudad RealSpain
  2. 2.IGOID Research GroupUniversity of Castilla-La ManchaCiudad RealSpain
  3. 3.Department of Finance and Economics, McCoy College of BusinessTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of Sport SciencesEuropean University of MadridVillaviciosa de OdónSpain
  5. 5.Department of Business AdministrationUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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