DP16171 How Sensitive are Sports Fans to Unemployment?

Author(s): James Reade, Jan C. van Ours
Publication Date: May 2021
Keyword(s): English football, Stadium attendance, unemployment
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16171

We analyze attendance of professional football matches in England finding that it is related to unemployment over a very long period of time. More unemployment leads to lower attendances. Distinguishing between leagues, we find that the relationship is larger for lower leagues, i.e. attendance of lower quality football events are more sensitive to fluctuations in unemployment.