Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reflections on the NFL and NBA Lockouts

I recently posted the working draft of an essay reflecting on the recent NFL and NBA lockouts to SSRN, and thought that it might be of interest to some readers. The abstract for the essay is below:
This essay analyzes the National Football League (“NFL”) and National Basketball Association (“NBA”) lockouts of 2011, focusing in particular on the role union dissolution played in both work stoppages. Although the existing academic literature had generally concluded that players’ unions in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues were unlikely to disband during a labor dispute, the unions in both the NFL and NBA elected to dissolve in the face of lockouts by ownership. This essay provides an explanation for why the pre-existing academic literature underestimated the likelihood that players would disband their unions during a work stoppage, and considers what role union dissolution is likely to play in future professional sports labor disputes.
The paper can be downloaded here. Any comments - critical or otherwise - would be much appreciated.