The locational pattern of clubs in four professional football leagues in Europe is used to test the causal effect of relegations on short-run regional development. The study relies on the relegation mode of the classical round-robin tournament in the European model of sport to develop a regression-discontinuity design. The results indicate small and significant negative short-term effects on regional employment and output in the sports-related economic sector. In addition, small negative effects on overall regional employment growth are found. Total regional gross value added remains unaffected.
professional football relegation regional growth regression-discontinuity design