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Similar Economic Histories, Different Industrial Structures: Transatlantic Contrasts in the Evolution of Professional Sports Leagues

  • LOUIS P. CAIN (a1) and DAVID D. HADDOCK (a2)
Abstract

Industries that have different structures in Europe than in America can teach useful lessons about industrial evolution. Despite similar initial histories, European professional sports leagues adopted team promotion and relegation, which facilitates much easier entry than is possible in North America, where leagues themselves create new franchises to sell to investors. By contrasting the histories of the English Football League and the National Baseball League, we show that their structures arose from differences in geographic compactness, the entertainment level of games, and territorial monopolies. As the evolution becomes more understandable, the persistence of the intercontinental difference becomes more problematic.

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The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
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