Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dan Myers, John Wassom, Brian Goff

Degree Program

Department of Economics

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate the existence of reputational capital among Major League Baseball teams.

Previous studies have shown that there is a strong relationship between past performance and current attendance at professional baseball games. Using reputational capital as an explanation, this paper provides a general discussion of this relationship.

The discussion of reputational capital is followed by an empirical analysis which includes several model specifications designed to show the effects of past performance on current attendance. One series of models uses cross-sectional data to measure the effects in general across the league and another series of models uses time series data to show some specific examples and how the relationship holds up through time.

The results of the empirical study show that there is generally a strong relationship between past performance and current attendance, although from team-to-team the magnitude of the effect varies. Consistent with economic and marketing theory, the results show that baseball teams accumulate and deplete reputational capital.


Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sports Studies