Craig A. Depken II and Dennis P. Wilson
Since Scully (1989) introduced the empirical analysis of competitive balance in professional sports, various theoretical and empirical approaches have been developed to address the desirability of competitive balance, its impact on attendance (among other variables), and how various aspects of a sport might influence competitive balance. This paper contributes to this literature by investigating the effect of various organizational changes on competitive balance in collegiate football.
The analysis of competitive balance in sports follows the formula developed in the Structure-Conduct-Performance (SCP) literature that evolved during the first half of the 20th century. The SCP approach typically relates the structure of an industry, e.g., the number of firms, to an industry's conduct, e.g., price or innovation, and an industry's performance, e.g., profit margins or efficiency. While it is often difficult to quantify many traditional measures of conduct and performance in sports industries, several proxy measures of industry performance have been developed, some of which are used in this study. The SCP approach is used here to investigate how the NCAA regulatory process has impacted the competitive balance of college football.
Relatively few studies exist investigating competitive balance in sports other than professional baseball. One market in particular that has been ignored in the sports economic literature is intercollegiate athletics. The