Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Equal Pay’

Consumers Will Decide If Women’s Sports Teams Get “Equal Pay” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on July 13, 2019

Even for those of us who don’t watch soccer — either men’s or women’s — it’s impossible to avoid the media frenzy over the fact that the women’s US Soccer team’s World Cup victory.

This amazing performance from the women’s team — we are told — highlights how absurd it is that the players on the women’s team are not paid as much as the players on the men’s team. Some fans and players even chanted “equal pay” in the wake of the World Cup victory.

When it comes to professional sports, however, how well a team plays is not what determines the pay of players. What matters is how much revenue the team earns from ticket sales, television deals, product licensing, and endorsement deals.

Revenues follow from the entertainment value of the play. When it comes to compensation, what matters is the ability of the players to entertain. Pro athletes, after all, are fundamentally just entertainers, no different from the buskers who do handstands on the street corner.

Some people may mistakenly believe that chasing a ball around constitutes some sort of highly-valuable enterprise in itself — but unless consumers are willing to pay to watch it, it has no large-scale economic value.

Thus, the question of whether or not the female athletes are “underpaid” comes down to how much revenue their performances generate.

So, do the women generate more revenue? Unless we’re talking about just the last one or two years, the answer appears to be a clear “no.” But even in recent years, as World Cup victories have piled up for the women, it looks like revenue have only just begun to equal that of the men’s team.

At Forbes, Mike Ozanian note that generally speaking, men’s soccer generates revenues at much higher levels:

The men’s World Cup in Russia generated over $6 billion in revenue, with the participating teams sharing $400 million , less than 7% of revenue. Meanwhile, the Women’s World Cup is expected to earn $131 million for the full four-year cycle 2019-22 and dole out $30 million to the participating teams.

But what about the US women’s team specifically?

According to the Wall Street Journal:

From 2016 to 2018, women’s games generated about $50.8 million in revenue compared with $49.9 million for the men, according to U.S. soccer’s audited financial statements. In 2016, the year after the World Cup, the women generated $1.9 million more than the men. Game revenues are made up mostly of ticket sales. In the last two years, at least, the men’s tally includes appearance fees that opposing teams pay the U.S. for games.

So, very recently, women have begun to outpace the men in ticket sales. But, as the WSJ admits: “ticket sales are only one revenue stream that the national teams help generate.”

And what about revenues from broadcasts? It seems that “TV ratings for U.S. men’s games tend to be higher than those for U.S. women’s games, according to data collected by U.S. Soccer.”…

If the fans want the women to be paid more than the men, the consumers will have to spend more.

Even some of the players recognize this. Earlier this week, US women’s team member Megan Rapinoe outlined how consumers can support a pay hike for the women’s team : “Come to games … buy players’ jerseys … become season ticket holders.”

Rapinoe is right. When the consumers pay more to see the women. The women will be paid more to play.

Be seeing you




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment » Why Male Soccer Players Make More Than Female Soccer Players

Posted by M. C. on July 12, 2019

The women are actually paid proportionally more than the men, however — 13% versus 9% of total revenues.

Few understand that everything is a function of some sort of economics.

Will I mow the lawn or watch the big game? Which is more valuable at this particular time? That is an economic decision. The commodity is personal time, a high value item.

According to this and other places we have read women’s soccer is light years away from mens soccer in how people want to spend their personal time and money.

Unfortunately for Megan Rapinoe’s paycheck women’s soccer is not as valuable a commodity as some other things.

I have no data but this does not seem to be the case in women’s tennis or golf, at least complaints don’t seem so prevalent.

By Thomas DiLorenzo

A stadium full of French socialists chanted “Equal Pay!  Equal Pay!” after the U.S. women won the World Cup over the weekend.  They were supporting the complaints of perpetually-angry-and-complaining Megan Rapinoe, the star of the U.S. women’s soccer team, about how the women are paid less than the men.
A little elementary economics can help explain why Megan is way out in left field on this.  In a competitive market economy world one’s pay is correlated with one’s marginal productivity.  That’s an economics term for how much you, as an employee, contribute to your employer’s profits.  The more skilled, experienced, educated, and hard working you are, the higher is your marginal productivity and your value to employers.  An important element of this is what the product or service is that you are involved in producing.  If there is strong consumer demand for the product or service, then your services in producing it will be worth more to employers.  I could be the best horse-and-buggy whip maker in history, but if there is slight demand for horse-and-buggy whips I won’t make much money.
Now, back to soccer.  In the last men’s world cup event in Russia, revenues, mostly from television, were about $6 billion.  For the recent women’s world cup they are estimated to be about $131 million, a small fraction of the men’s revenues (a little less than one-fiftieth).  Orders of magnitude more people watch men’s soccer than women’s soccer.  Compared to men’s soccer, hardly anyone cares about women’s soccer.   The women are actually paid proportionally more than the men, however — 13% versus 9% of total revenues.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »