Post-Grant Reports


Economics of Running

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Econometrics | Economics | Economic Theory | Sports Management | Sports Studies


The purpose of this sabbatical was to make headway into the largely neglected topic of the economics of running. This involved three specific, interrelated projects. The first project was to design and offer a course on the economics of running. This class, offered under a more general umbrella of “Topics in Sports Economics” and approved by the Curriculum Committee, was first taught in spring 2015. The course stresses application of previously learned economics, introduces students to new concepts that are unique to sports like running, examines the relationship between institutions and economic outcomes in the running industry, and requires students to plan and execute a race event as a class project.

The second project is a scholarly paper that looks at determinants of race pricing. Employing a hedonic model, this project identifies factors that influence prices of race (road and trail running) events. Using data from hundreds of races from across the United States, variables including distances offered, complementary events, course features, and non-race amenities are examined using standard econometric techniques.

The third project is a book targeted at the running community, with the aim of using shared and recognizable running experiences to introduce runners to fundamental economic concepts. Once running illustrations have motivated understanding of basic economics, readers will be introduced to non-running applications of the theory that apply to everyday life. This work allows runners to see one of their passions from a new perspective, and to learn a new set of tools to enhance other parts of their lives.


This research was conducted as part of a sabbatical leave in 2014.

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