Title: League ranking mobility affects attendance: A dynamic panel model of European football leagues
Authors: Andras Gyimesi - University of Pecs (Hungary) [presenting]
Abstract: In the field of sports economics, there is no strong consensus whether competitive balance of a league increases spectator interest. League ranking mobility is a specific indicator of between-seasons competitive balance, which is defined as the difference between the rankings of two consecutive time periods. Several measures are adopted and introduced to quantify league ranking mobility. Using an unbalanced panel dataset of 20 European domestic football leagues, it is shown that there is a significant positive relationship between league ranking mobility and average stadium attendance. We argue that a traditional random effect model is not suitable for predicting average attendance, as it cannot handle autocorrelation in the dependent variable. A dynamic panel model, estimated by a GMM estimator, is introduced instead. An innovation of the study is that variables measuring the international success and the average stadium capacity of the league are included as covariates. The effects of other more traditional competitive balance indices are also tested, and found to be non-significant. This research was partially supported by the Human Resource Development Operational Programme, grant No.: HRDOP-3.6.2-16-2017-00003, Cooperative Research Network in Economy of Sport, Recreation and Health.