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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 11 / 2012 (576)

The political economy of women’s professional basketball in the United States: A structure-conduct-performance approach

Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN – USA
Department of Economics, Rhodes College, Memphis, TN – USA
Franklin G. MIXON, Jr.
Center for Economic Education, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA – USA

Abstract. This study examines the political economy of women’s professional basketball in the United States, including both the American Basketball League (ABL) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). To do so, we employ the structure-conductperformance paradigm (hereafter SCP) from industrial organization. In addition to the importance of television revenues and corporate sponsorships to the success of the leagues, we find evidence of economies of scope, bilateral monopoly issues, and reverse causality in the SCP paradigm as applied to women’s professional basketball in the United States.

Keywords: structure-conduct-performance paradigm; economies of scope; bilateral monopoly; pro sports.

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