Competitive balance and the participation–spectatorship gap in Chinese table tennis

Scott Tainsky, Jie Xu, Qian Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excessive competitive imbalance holds the potential to render teams and, by extension, leagues inviable. The China Table Tennis Super League has languished in its attempt to catch on as a popular spectator sport in spite of the sport’s popularity as recreational activity. One of the primary reasons for the participation–spectatorship gap cited by officials is competitive imbalance. This research estimates a number of within-season balance measures, including the standard deviation of winning, concentration ratio, and Herfindahl–Hirschman Index. The results show that both the men’s and women’s leagues have been relatively balanced over time. Implications regarding competitive balance and other league policy considerations are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 14 2017


  • Chinese table tennis
  • Competitive balance
  • gap
  • participation–spectatorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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