Economics of Sport and Recreation

Economics of Sport and Recreation

Economics of Sport and Recreation

Economics of Sport and Recreation


This new edition includes an overview of the history of the development of sports markets and the role of economics in the analysis of these markets. It examines the demand for activities, facilities, equipment, travel and leisure time and problems affecting the recreation manager, such as pricing, investment and budgeting.


The purpose of this book is to apply economic analysis to the sports industry. It is now generally recognised that sport is an industry accounting for a significant share of Gross Domestic Product, consumer expenditure and employment. However, there has been little systematic study of this industry by economists. This book attempts to fill the gap.

The book started out as a second edition of our Sport and Recreation: An Economic Analysis which was published in 1985. So much has changed in the area of the economic analysis of sport since then, however, that this book contains little of the earlier book. The change in title to The Economics of Sport and Recreation is a recognition of the fact that this is essentially a new book, although it will replace the 1985 edition. In the past 15 years a wide range of studies have been carried out that substantially enhance our understanding of the way the sports industry works. Whereas in 1985 we had to search around for examples that could be included under the broad heading 'sport and recreation', now we have to make decisions about which examples to include and which to leave out. The bibliography at the end of the book is testimony to the wealth of information now available on the sports industry, and contrasts sharply with the bibliography of the 1985 edition in which general references, rather than sport-specific references, dominated.

The 1985 book was original in its attempt to treat sport both as an industry and as a recognised area of applied microeconomics. Unlike other areas of applied microeconomics such as health, education, housing, or transport, sport had not then had the benefit of 20 to 30 years of economic research in which to inform a book about the industry. The result was that the 1985 book asked the relevant questions, provided the analytical framework, but lacked answers to analytical questions in a large percentage of the topics covered. In this new book, that percentage is much lower.

Ideally, readers of this book will already possess an introductory knowledge of economics. However, we are confident that, even without such a knowledge, the discussions in the various chapters will be understandable to those who are interested in the study of sport as an industry.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our wives, Christine and Janice, in providing the time and space we needed to complete this book, and Lizzie Watts and Louise Dungworth who did a large share of the word processing, editing, and formatting.

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