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Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre Services & Operations Management

The Economics & Econometrics of Sports, Culture, and Religion (S)

This course organized by UZH Department of Business Administration in cooperation with ETHZ Department of Management, Technology, and Economics

The Center for Research in Sports Administration (CRSA) in cooperation with the ETHZ and USI regularly invites guest lecturers as part of the Swiss Doctoral Program for Research in Sports for Behavioral and Social Sciences.

Application Deadline September 10, 2020

Apply via this Google form. Advanced Master's students are welcome to apply. Please note that priority will be given to PhD students.

Seminar September 21 - 25, 2020; morning and afternoon sessions, 90 minutes each see VVZ for further details

Course Description & Literature (PDF, 191 KB)

Room Allocation

About this course:

In her best-selling book “Sex, Drugs and Economics: An Unconventional Introduction to Economics”, Diane Coyle characterizes what others have called the “dismal science1” as follows: “… economics is not a set body of knowledge about certain financial subjects. It is instead a method for thinking about any subject. There can be an economics of any-thing – marriage, sport, crime, drug trafficking, education, movies, and even, yes, sex. Economics is one route toward understanding any aspect of human nature, and one of the most illuminating because of its analytical rigor” (Coyle 2004: xii).
Thus, economics focuses not only on prices, incentives, information, and constraints, but also focuses on social interaction, since parents, teachers, customers, co-workers, managers and politicians play important roles in driving behavior. This approach has two major implications:


  • First, economics focuses on variables that parents, teachers, customers, co-workers, managers or politicians have a great deal of control over – namely information, deci-sions, and incentives.
  • Second, the standard ingredients of the economist’s “toolbox” can (and should be) used to analyze a variety of social phenomena occurring in environments such as e.g. sport, culture and religion.

During the course, we will discuss selected empirical papers from each of the three ar-eas. In practical sessions, we will estimate models to explain e.g. the observable varia-tion in player salaries and market values, wine prices, and exits from the Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany.


Students prepare a presentation based on three assigned papers and write a short em-pirical essay (2,500 words) on one of the topics covered in the course. The essay will count 60% and the presentation 40%.

About the Lecturer:

Bernd Frick is Professor of Organizational and Media Economics in the Department of Management and Vice President of the University of Paderborn with the responsibility for strategy, finance, and international relations. His research interests are in labor and personnel economics, organizational economics as well as in sports economics.


Credits: 3 ECTS
Assistant at Chair UZH: Anil Özdemir
Assistant at Chair ETHZ:

Weiterführende Informationen

Contact & Location

University of Zurich
Department of Business Administration
Chair of Services & Operations Management 
Plattenstrasse 14
CH-8032 Zurich
Phone:   +41 (0)44 634 53 11 
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