Although it is played by about 15 million Americans and amounting to a $1.5 billion a year industry, and even though it is a growing business and worth talking about, this post is not about the real-world economics of fantasy sports.
Instead, this post is about the typical structures of fantasy leagues, particularly football (the most popular), and what these leagues can tell us about the participants’ most basic economic assumptions or impulses. I will argue that the default model in fantasy sports is one of an authoritarian and interventionist governing body, which severely restricts fantasy commerce.
But just who are we talking about? As Marketplace reports, the typical fantasy sports players are “male, they’re about 36, and they own their homes.”
So what are the basic structures of fantasy leagues? (more…)