The Interaction between Baseball Attendance and Winning Percentage: A VAR Analysis, pp. 58-73

Michael C. Davis

This study examines the importance of team success for attendance for Major League Baseball teams. Winning and attendance go together for most baseball teams, but the direction of causation is not obvious. Winning could lead to greater attendance as fans want to see a winner; an increase in attendance could lead to greater winning as teams have greater resources to spend on salaries. This study finds that the direction of causation runs from team success to greater attendance, and that a sudden increase in fans does not lead to additional winning in the future. A secondary result suggests that exogenous shocks to attendance have replicating effects on attendance as well.