50:220:212 (3 credits)

Instructor Contact Info:

Joseph Shinn, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Economics
Armitage Hall, Room 332
311 North 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102, USA
Phone: (856) 225-6290
Email: js2398@camden.rutgers.edu


Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics

Required Textbook

The Economics of Sports, 6th Edition By Michael Leeds, Peter von Allmen, and Victor Matheson.  Routledge Publishing, 2018, ISBN # 978-1138052161. 

Course Description

This class shows students how to apply modern statistical methods to explore and quantify the relationships between essential variables used in economics. The foundations part of the class begins with a review on set theory, random variable, probability distributions (discrete and continuous), and statistical inference. Some important linear algebra tools, such as matrix operations, will also be covered. Both Linear and Generalized Linear models will be introduced to students. The applied work includes the topic of Capital Asset Pricing Model, yield curve and prediction of business cycles, regional crime rate study, housing price determinants, Okun’s Law, Phillips Curve, and Purchasing Power Parity theory etc. will be used to show how empirical work is done using different statistical models.

Learning Objectives

This course will study the theories of the economics of sports. Covered topics include:

  1. Theory of the supply and demand of sports economics.
  2. Analysis of sports organizations as profit-maximizing firms.
  3. Overview of the public finance of sports franchises.
  4. Discussion of the theory and implications of the labor supply and demand of athletes.

 Course Grades

The Course Grade will be determined by the following:

  • Research Paper and Presentation: 30%
  • Data Analysis Paper: 20%
  • Midterm Exam: 25%
  • Cumulative Final Exam: 25%

Grading Scale:

  • A 90+
  • B+ 85% – 89.99
  • B 80% – 84.99%
  • C+ 75% – 79.99
  • C 70% – 74.99%
  • D 60% – 69.99%
  • F Below 60%

Research Paper and Presentation

The student will prepare a 5-10 page (excluding figures/tables/bibliography) research paper on some sports-economics related topic. There will be a lot of latitude given on choosing the topic as long as the it is directly related to one of the topics discussed in the course. The student must get approval of the topic from the professor, however. The student is free to use graphs and figures, but it is expected that the submission will be at least 5 typed pages. The student will be graded based on their choice of topic and application of the theory, presentation of the findings, and overall paper quality (including grammar and punctuation.) The student will also present the findings of the paper in class. The length of the presentation should be 5 to 10 minutes and the student will sign up to present the paper in one of the available slots. The breakdown of the grading of the assignment is 80% for the paper and 20% for the presentation.

Data Analysis Paper

All students will be given a data set on a sports-economics related topic. With that data, they are to individually write a 3-6 page (excluding figures/tables/bibliography) paper presenting the results of the data as it relates to sports economics. The student should discuss the results of the data and directly connect the results to some theory discussed in the class.


The exams will be due on the assigned days.   Both the midterm and final exam will be worth 25% of the overall course grade and will focus on chapters covered during the first and second halves of the course, respectively.  Both exams will be take home and in essay form.

Exams Policy

  1. Missing an exam is serious.
  2. Midterm Exam – The midterm is a take-home exam. No make-up exams will be administered if a midterm is missed. Excused absences for the midterm will be granted only for students with acceptable written documentation of hospitalization, etc. Students missing a midterm without a valid documented reason will receive a zero. The weight of the midterm in the grade calculation will fall on the final exam if a midterm is missed for an excused reason.
  3. Final Exam – The final exam is worth 25% and is focused on the second half of the course. Theory from the first half, however, may be used in the final.

Academic Integrity

The consequences of scholastic dishonesty are very serious. You are responsible for reading and understanding our policy on academic integrity policy, available from the Rutgers Academic Integrity website. Academic integrity means, among other things, that all Rutgers students are required to:

  • properly acknowledge and cite all use of the ideas, results, or words of others
  • properly acknowledge all contributors to a given piece of work
  • make sure that all work submitted as his or her own in a course or other academic activity is produced without the aid of unsanctioned materials or unsanctioned collaboration
  • treat all other students in an ethical manner, respecting their integrity and right to pursue their educational goals without interference. This requires that a student neither facilitate academic dishonesty by others nor obstruct their academic progress

Students with Disabilities:

Students who have a diagnosed disability on file with the Office of Disability Services are eligible for accommodations, as specified by the University. Please contact the Office of Disability Services at 856-225-6442 if you need to begin the process of receiving accommodations. Students who do not have a letter of accommodation from the university will not be eligible to receive accommodations in this course.

Course Topics – Covered in the following order

Part I: Introduction and Review of Economic Concepts

Chapter 1: Economics and Sports

Chapter 2: Review of the Economist’s Arsenal

Part II: The Industrial Organization of Sports

Chapter 3: Sports Franchises as Profit-Maximizing Firms

Chapter 4: Monopoly and Antitrust

Chapter 5: Competitive Balance

Part III: Public Finance of Sports

Chapter 6: The Public Finance of Sports: The Market for Teams

Chapter 7: The Costs and Benefits of a Franchise to a City

Part IV: The Labor Economies of Sports

Chapter 8: An Introduction to Labor Markets in Professional Sports

Chapter 9: Labor Market Imperfections

Chapter 10: Discrimination

Chapter 11: The Economics of Amateurism and College Sports