Three essays in applied microeconomics using panel data

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Matthew Taylor Rhodes (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Stephen Layson

Abstract: The first essay of this dissertation examines the substitution effects between Major League Baseball home games and how these substitution effects impact the attendance returns of a doubleheader--a day in which two games are played for the price of one. Specifically, a model of daily baseball attendance based on utility maximizing behavior is developed and then tested using Major League Baseball data from for 1938 to 2009. Findings suggest that home games are substitutes for each other and the substitution effects are strongest when home games are played closer in time. Additionally, the substitution effects between single games and nearby doubleheaders are particularly strong. In fact, these substitution effects are strong enough to overwhelm the positive day-of attendance returns of a doubleheader to where the total effect of doubleheaders on season attendance is negative. Lastly, two implications of this latter finding are discussed: 1. Was the widespread use of doubleheaders, particularly from 1938 to 1985, in the team owners' self-interest; and, 2. After properly accounting for substitution effects, how effective are traditional modern-day promotions in increasing season attendance? The second essay estimates the environmental impact of sporting events by analyzing a collection of small typically geographically isolated cities which host at least one NCAA football team that competes in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2010. Fixed-effects regressions controlling for differences across cities and across months suggest that cities do experience an increase in pollution levels on and around game days relative to non-game days. These marginal increases were largest in November even after controlling for weather and various trends. However, predicted levels were below EPA daily thresholds. Additionally, hypothetical levels required to increase mortality rates from 0% to 1% were three to eight times larger than observed maximum game day pollution levels. Thus, the estimated marginal increases in daily pollution levels experienced by cities as a result of hosting a college football game are not hazardous and are not expected to increase mortality risks. The third and final essay estimates the demand for beer in the U.S. from 2001 until 2006 using a multinomial logit discrete-choice model of product differentiation. Using grocery store scanner data from Information Resources Incorporated (IRI), demand estimates are used to evaluate the extent to which two new beer brands--Michelob Ultra and Bud Select--attracted new drinkers. This unexplored aspect to new brands has various public health implications regarding the over-consumption of alcohol. For a single market, counterfactual results based on a simulation involving 50,000 hypothetical consumers drawn from a type 1 extreme value distribution suggest sales were overwhelmingly generated by new drinkers as they accounted for 68% of sales of Bud Select and 74% of sales of Michelob Ultra. Additionally, new drinkers of Bud Select preferred larger package sizes--specifically 12-packs over 6-packs--whereas the reverse held for Michelob Ultra. Lastly, a number of suggestions for future work are provided.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Consumer Behavior, Demand, Discrete Choice, Environmental Impacts, Product Choice, U.S. Beer Industry
Baseball attendance $z United States
Sports $x Environmental aspects
Beer industry $z United States

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