Jeff Cisyk, Pascal Courty, 15 July 2015

Performance-enhancing drugs have been a controversial issue since competitive sports first began. This column argues that of the three major rationales for regulation – athletes’ health, fairness, and audience losses – the damage to audiences is the most convincing rationale for regulation. Evidence shows that doping causes measurable economic damage. Teams and leagues competing for audience attention may not internalise all externalities associated with doping, and they face a time-inconsistency problem when they discover it.

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