About Erasmus Centre for Applied Sports Economics


“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that”

-  Bill Shankly (1913-1981), football manager of amongst other clubs, Liverpool


One day a group of economists in the Department of Applied Economics of Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) realized they had a joint interest in sports economics research. So, they started the Erasmus Centre for Applied Sports Economics (ECASE) to organize workshops and seminars on this topic. It quickly emerged that sports economics also appealed to various other researchers at Erasmus University.

Today ECASE has members from the ESE departments of Applied Economics and Econometrics and from the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. Its affiliate members include researchers at the University of Michigan, Liverpool, and Bergamo. The Centre cooperates closely with other sports research groups at Erasmus University, most notably ESPRIT (philosophy) and Sport and Nation (history, media studies).

Economics and Sports

Sports are an important societal phenomenon, not just for the pleasure derived from participating, but also for their cultural significance. In many countries the performance of national teams and athletes, is a cornerstone of national prestige and identity. For economists, who are social scientists after all, it is paramount to study such an extremely widespread and characteristic feature of modern society.

Furthermore, sports competitions can be exploited as an economic laboratory. Data from sport events and athletes is very rich and can help researchers understand economic phenomena and human decision making.


The ambition of ECASE is to stimulate high-quality research in sports economics. This means both using the economics toolkit to study sports and formulate policy advice and using sports as a data environment to further economic research in fields like labor, organizational, and behavioural economics. ECASE has a clear focus on economic research, but with an open mind set. Sports researchers from related disciplines, both inside and outside Erasmus School of Economics, are always invited to participate. ECASE aims at societal relevance. Its scientific research is policy relevant for governments, sports organizations, sports unions and for individual sports fans.

Summary of the ambitions:

  • Contribution to high-quality research with particular attention to Open and Responsible Science
  • Publishing policy-relevant recommendations
  • Valorisation through education, communication in popular media and expert opinions, and easily accessible publications.

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