... But a lot people inside sports seem to resent big market teams (Yankees, LA Lakers) consistently dominating the play-offs, although audiences seem to want dynasties from big cities. Is there an inherent problem here? Is it inevitable that there is a conflict between people inside sports who want to see some diversity among the winners? Is big league team sports inherently biased towards the dynasty model? Are there viable business models for team sports that could produce a wider range of winners?
The conflict you describe is that some people want more of a fair fight, and others put more weight on wanting "my team to win". Of course the second group doesn't want to win via too easy or obvious an advantage. They may want the rough appearance of fairness, but in fact want enough unfairness for them to win.
Does a similar phenomena occur in other areas of life? Do university alumni want an appearance of fair evaluation of applicants, but really want their kids to have an advantage? Do businesses want an appearance that local media are fair and impartial, but really want to be able to buy them off to prefer their side of the story? Are there other examples?
Can we model this behavior as resulting from rational agents, or is some irrationality required to make such a story work?
Robin Hanson [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://hanson.gmu.edu
Assistant Professor of Economics, George Mason University
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