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FaceyFacem
Sep 27th, 2005, 03:42 PM
hey wtaworlders...i'm planning to write a college senior thesis on the equal prize money debate at the grand slams, but my advisor seems to think i might not be able to find enough data to use to write a paper with enough significance...my plan is to make a list of all the ways you could compare whether men and women deserve equal pay (whether or not they support women) and then also figure out which of the categories i could find solid data for and which would be more difficult, thanks all!!

i'll start...
television ratings (probably can find this data for many developed countries)
quality of matches (can find winners/errors and scorelines for GS matches)
time on court (can find this)
ticket sales (prob can find this...maybe also use data from uncombined tournaments as well to show popularity of each tour independently)

ok, if you can add to this list i'd love the help please!! need to have a solid list in by the end of the week...also if anyone has full articles about why the french converted to equal pay (or even why australia or the us open did) that could really help as well

thanks

Helen Lawson
Sep 27th, 2005, 03:43 PM
This isn't scientific, but watch the Federer/Hewitt semi and then the Agassi/the other guy semi. Then watch Mary/Lena D and Kim/Sharapova, and convince me that Lena D and Sharapova deserve the same dough as Lleyton Hewitt.

marmite1
Sep 27th, 2005, 03:46 PM
I say they deserve the same amount. Although men play for longer, im speculating, that the men and the women exert about the same energy because women (possibly) cant last as long on court. Or make the prize money equal, and make men's matches shorter or women's longer.

TonyP
Sep 27th, 2005, 03:54 PM
While a supporter of equal pay for equal work no matter what kind of work it is, it is hard for me to support equal prize money in tennis at the slams. The women don't play as long and nobody in their right mind these days can say they play higher quality tennis. Where it not for political correctness, this whole topic would be a non starter.

And the argument that the women attract more attention is hypocritical. Her critics constantly bad mouthed Anna Kournikova for not playing well enough to win tournaments, yet she got more attention than anybody in the sport. So, should she have gotten more prize money in the tournaments she played, because she increased TV ratings or sat fans in the stands?

You can't have it both ways. Either prize money is based on merit or it isn't. And equal prize money for women at the slams is NOT based on merit.

tenn_ace
Sep 27th, 2005, 03:56 PM
It's going to be tough to prove either way as the only relevant statistics you can find (tracked separately for men and women) is time on court. You can argue that the longer players spend on court, the more commercials are being viewed by TV audience.

TV ratings - will be very tough to find information from a lot of markets, especially the biggest ones like China and India.

Quality is irrelevant imo as it is not subjective

ticket sales is irrelevant as GSs are combined events, so you wouldn't know who the audience actually comes to watch mens or womens matches


anyway, good luck if you take on this assignment

alfonsojose
Sep 27th, 2005, 03:59 PM
This isn't scientific, but watch the Federer/Hewitt semi and then the Agassi/the other guy semi. Then watch Mary/Lena D and Kim/Sharapova, and convince me that Lena D and Sharapova deserve the same dough as Lleyton Hewitt.
Well, there are some JesusFed's spankings that are incredibly boring :shrug:

moby
Sep 27th, 2005, 03:59 PM
What about time spent training, and expenses incurred (coaching, travelling, lodging)?
I mean, it's not like the women are actually lounging around while the men practise.

On a more serious note, only Wimbledon hasn't converted to equal prize money, so doesn't that mean that once they officially convert, there wouldn't be such a debate anymore?

marmite1
Sep 27th, 2005, 04:16 PM
What about time spent training, and expenses incurred (coaching, travelling, lodging)?
I mean, it's not like the women are actually lounging around while the men practise.

On a more serious note, only Wimbledon hasn't converted to equal prize money, so doesn't that mean that once they officially convert, there wouldn't be such a debate anymore?

The men will probably moan for a while, and then the debate will be forgotten.

vogus
Sep 27th, 2005, 04:23 PM
try to avoid political correctness and give an unbiased view. Politically correct papers are usually boring and have low information value.

An interesting question to explore is why prize money at the 4 Grand Slams is roughly equal, but on the regular tours, men's prize money is something like 3 times more than women's. If you can shed some light on that question then you will not only get an "A" but you'll also be making a real contribution to the study of sex-equality economics.

TonyP
Sep 27th, 2005, 04:28 PM
I'll give it a try. They are two different tours with different sponsors. The sponsors on the men's tour are apparently willing to put up more money than those sponsoring the women's tour.

In some cases, TV revenues may figure in, but in the US, it is widely believed that aside from the tennis channel, ESPN is pretty much the only network carrying non grand slam tennis and it is doing so on a barter or trade out system. IN other words, it is NOT paying out big bucks to carry tennis matches, because they don't draw large enough audiences to interest ESPN, compared to basketball and the other sports it carries.

Helen Lawson
Sep 27th, 2005, 04:30 PM
Well, there are some JesusFed's spankings that are incredibly boring :shrug:

That's true, absolutely, but I was watching the Hewitt/Federer semi, and thought, Lleyton and Lena D get the same money?!?! I adore Lena D, she's one of my favorites, but I can't watch Lleyton Hewitt and think they both earned the same money, that's all.

creep
Sep 27th, 2005, 04:32 PM
This isn't scientific, but watch the Federer/Hewitt semi and then the Agassi/the other guy semi. Then watch Mary/Lena D and Kim/Sharapova, and convince me that Lena D and Sharapova deserve the same dough as Lleyton Hewitt.

They don't deserve to be sharing the same court, never mind getting paid the same!

FaceyFacem
Sep 27th, 2005, 04:50 PM
try to avoid political correctness and give an unbiased view. Politically correct papers are usually boring and have low information value.

An interesting question to explore is why prize money at the 4 Grand Slams is roughly equal, but on the regular tours, men's prize money is something like 3 times more than women's. If you can shed some light on that question then you will not only get an "A" but you'll also be making a real contribution to the study of sex-equality economics.

my goal is to come in to the process of writing w/o an opinion on whether or not they deserve equal...which is sort of possible since i'm a fan of both women's and men's tennis and really can see the debate from both ends...i'm just looking here to get more possible stats that i can use to do an econometric analysis of whether or not this is possible...

i'm currently in a sports economics seminar and i'm trying to apply concepts from the class to try and resolve this problem, unfortunately in the US we focus mainly on the 4 big team sports (basketball, hockey, baseball, football) and then also soccer because my professor is a founding member of the MLS here in the USA...we discussed shortly reasons why players would earn money...or more specifically why people would pay to be a spectator: namely, quality of games, uncertainty of outcome (which i guess i could try and show through number of upsets on the tours), and having their favorite win...in an individual sport that becomes more problematic obviously...

anyway, keep sending me ideas if you can about things i could use to try and build a solid statistical case, however, if this doesn't work out i'm probably gonna write a paper about the US Open series and whether or not there are significant economic benefits to their collusion...or maybe some other tennis topic you can also suggest (again, its an econ class, so it would have to have econ implications)

Martian Willow
Sep 27th, 2005, 04:57 PM
I'm sure I read somewhere that the original reason women don't play five sets at slams is because the men didn't want to hang around waiting for their matches too long. If that's true, and it wasn't the womens' decision to play three sets, and it isn't based on their ability to play three sets, then it really shouldn't be a factor at all in alocating prizemoney.

So you should investigate that, then come back and tell me, because I might have dreamed it. :)

Martian Willow
Sep 27th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Also, according to the editorial in the June 97 issue of Ace (not neccessarily the most reliable source, I admit), the women did offer to play five sets in return for equal prizemoney, but were refused. You have to consider whether it's the women who 'refuse' to play five sets, or whether it's the organisers (and audience, perhaps), who don't want them to. :)

Experimentee
Sep 27th, 2005, 05:07 PM
What about time spent training, and expenses incurred (coaching, travelling, lodging)?
I mean, it's not like the women are actually lounging around while the men practise.

On a more serious note, only Wimbledon hasn't converted to equal prize money, so doesn't that mean that once they officially convert, there wouldn't be such a debate anymore?

Yeah i agree with this. I think the real work involved in being on the tour is the training and preparation leading up to a match, rather than the actual match. Both men and women train as hard as each other, so they should be getting paid the same.

vogus
Sep 27th, 2005, 05:09 PM
I'll give it a try. They are two different tours with different sponsors. The sponsors on the men's tour are apparently willing to put up more money than those sponsoring the women's tour.

In some cases, TV revenues may figure in, but in the US, it is widely believed that aside from the tennis channel, ESPN is pretty much the only network carrying non grand slam tennis and it is doing so on a barter or trade out system. IN other words, it is NOT paying out big bucks to carry tennis matches, because they don't draw large enough audiences to interest ESPN, compared to basketball and the other sports it carries.


That first paragraph doesn't really answer my question. Do the sponsors at the Grand Slams not have a choice whether their money goes to men's or women's? In other words, they say to the Slams, here's a million dollars, allocate it as you see fit? That would surprise me.

I guess you're arguing that since regular ATP and WTA tournaments aren't generating revenue from their TV deals (i don't know if that's true, but anyway), the fact that men's and women's regular tour events get roughly equal ratings doesn't have an impact on prize money and therefore isn't relevant to the discrepancy?

AsGoodAsNew
Sep 27th, 2005, 05:30 PM
You could try and compare the scorelines of the men's rounds before the 1/4s in the slams with the women's. It's often said that women's tennis starts in the quarter finals. All those 60 61 wins in the early rounds (though judging by Beijing I doubt even that) against the likes of Titiana Knowoneknowsalovas.

From a personal perspective, as a girl, I don't think you can even compare the demands of the men's games with the women's. What did Marcelo Rios call the women a few years back? Wasn't it fat and lazy? Of course I think it was after he had seen Monica at Wimbly queueing up for a burger or some such in between meal healthy snack, around the time Lindsay looked like Desperate Dan's daughter! Women's tennis is much more dramatic, emotional and intriguing from a personality perspective which is why I prefer it to men's, but from a purely tennis and athletic point of view it doesn't measure up.

Martian Willow
Sep 27th, 2005, 06:39 PM
You could try and compare the scorelines of the men's rounds before the 1/4s in the slams with the women's. It's often said that women's tennis starts in the quarter finals. All those 60 61 wins in the early rounds (though judging by Beijing I doubt even that) against the likes of Titiana Knowoneknowsalovas.

From a personal perspective, as a girl, I don't think you can even compare the demands of the men's games with the women's. What did Marcelo Rios call the women a few years back? Wasn't it fat and lazy? Of course I think it was after he had seen Monica at Wimbly queueing up for a burger or some such in between meal healthy snack, around the time Lindsay looked like Desperate Dan's daughter! Women's tennis is much more dramatic, emotional and intriguing from a personality perspective which is why I prefer it to men's, but from a purely tennis and athletic point of view it doesn't measure up.

Golf doesn't measure up to tennis from an athletic point of view, but there's still more money in it. :) Why should drama, emotion and intigue neccessarily be worth less, particularly commercially?

About the vogus/Tony P thing, it might be that even if the WTA did have a similar size audience as the ATP, there wouldn't neccessarily be the same amount of sponsors, because advertisers might simply be less inclined to use womens sport as a vehicle to sell their products than mens sports. Companies that want to sell specifically or predominantly to men might be more inclined to use sport than companies that want to sell to women. :D

Nimi
Sep 27th, 2005, 07:19 PM
Get the statistics comaring how much crowd arrived for the matches in the WTA Championships and how much crowd arrived for the Masters Cup. I think that explains some of it.

calabar
Sep 27th, 2005, 11:57 PM
Sports is entertainment. The cost for entertainment is not based on time. The cost to see a 2-hour movie is the same as a 3-hour movie. The same goes for a 3-setter or a 5-setter. Besides, what happens when the women's champ win in 3 sets while the men's champ ALSO wins in 3 sets, should they then be paid the SAME? And if not, why not? Can't have it both ways.

Kworb
Sep 28th, 2005, 12:55 AM
It's a full time job for both the men and the women. The time spent playing official matches is just a fraction of the total time invested in their careers. And since we strive for equality, their income (regardless of endorsements) should be the same. Equal prize money for both men and women.

Andy T
Sep 28th, 2005, 12:59 AM
hey wtaworlders...i'm planning to write a college senior thesis on the equal prize money debate at the grand slams, but my advisor seems to think i might not be able to find enough data to use to write a paper with enough significance...my plan is to make a list of all the ways you could compare whether men and women deserve equal pay (whether or not they support women) and then also figure out which of the categories i could find solid data for and which would be more difficult, thanks all!!

i'll start...
television ratings (probably can find this data for many developed countries)
quality of matches (can find winners/errors and scorelines for GS matches)
time on court (can find this)
ticket sales (prob can find this...maybe also use data from uncombined tournaments as well to show popularity of each tour independently)

ok, if you can add to this list i'd love the help please!! need to have a solid list in by the end of the week...also if anyone has full articles about why the french converted to equal pay (or even why australia or the us open did) that could really help as well

thanks

How about looking at preparation/training time? Matches are only part of being a full-time pro tennis player. If the women are doing a full time job training and practising, then they should get equal pay. I don't think you get systematically paid more for acting in a film or starring in a play which lasts 2 hours as opposed to one which lasts 1.5 hours.

vogus
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:52 AM
Both men and women train as hard as each other, so they should be getting paid the same.


that's absolutely false. Overall, the men practice far harder than the women. Men and women pros might spend the same amount of time training, but the men's training is much more physically taxing. So only looking at the AMOUNT of time brings in a large degree of subjectivity. If you are going to talk about training and preparation, the issue has to be quality as well as quantity.

FaceyFacem
Sep 28th, 2005, 05:37 AM
thanks guys, i'm getting some ideas of what to look for in research...going back to my original post, does anyone have an article from the french federation about their decision to go to equal pay?

switz
Sep 28th, 2005, 06:37 AM
i'd tend to agree with your supervisor. sure it's a pretty significant issue and strong arguments can be made either way but more often than not the people marking it are going to expect a hell of a lot emperical evidence. this is not an headline issue and tends to make a blurb at best in the mainstream media, and although that doesn't mean you can't do it (most aré quite random), it will make you task tougher.

i had grand aspirations in my firsts years at uni of writing my thesis in economics on a tennis related matter but when it came to actually picking my subject area last year i realised it would serve little purpose for where i want to be. of course that's just me though - i've actually deferred it now because i'm working full time and i found i didn't have time to research and write something worthwhile.

good luck though.

oddkayla
Sep 28th, 2005, 08:21 AM
I think you need to weigh certain factors which are not easily quantifiable.

It is not about how much energy or how long the matches go. Greg Rusedski and some other player from Slovakia could play a four hour long match, in front of a negligible audience, and Maria Sharapova and some other player could play in front of a packed house, with mammoth ratings! It is about what pays the bills, and it is eyeballs and butts on the stands, and hits on the internet, and mention in magazines, covers, late night shows etc. It is about the entertainment factor. If there is an equal audience for women's matches as there is for men's then they should be paid the same. On the other hand, if there is a discrepancy one or way or the other then it should be reflected in paychecks.

What is more interesting? Where are the storylines? This is part of the entertainment business. Its whats called the X factor on Madison Avenue.

Look at the Wimbledon's men's final? Which was more storied? Federer is amazing etc, but which was more stirring? Which one compelled people to watch ,thereby ensuring ad sales?

SoMuchEyeCandy
Sep 28th, 2005, 08:36 AM
I think women should also play for best-of-five sets. I think more upsets would occur then.

To answer your question they definatekly deserve equal money.

TonyP
Sep 28th, 2005, 01:40 PM
There are two elements to this debate. One is confined to tennis, the other a much broader issue pertaining to all women everywhere.

Women in America have long campaigned for equal pay for equal work, something they have always deserved. It therefore becomes a little hypocritical sounding for them to demand equal pay for less than equal work, claiming that in tennis, they are more interesting or more glamorous or more dramatic or something. Time spent on the job is measurable. How glamorous or dramatic you are is not measurable. Its a matter of opinion.

It is also very hard today to claim women's tennis is more dramatic or more interesting and you certainly can't complain that it is better tennis. But one thing I think is happening right now is that fans on this board are locked in a time warp.

Yes, a few years ago, the most interesting match ups and rivalries were in women's tennis, not men's tennis. But since then Hingis has retired, Kournikova apparently retired, Capriati has not played in a long time, Seles has ended her career and Justine vs Kim never really took off. Maria vs Serena was the other big rivalry, and that has not really materialized either.

Why?

Because these girls don't play each other very often, because they are always injured. When was the last Maria vs Serena match up? The Australian Open? That's almost a whole season ago.

Women's tennis is coasting along on what happened in the late 90s through 2003. It has been overtaken in terms of drama, excitement and without question, the quality of matches. Look at how many of the slam finals this year were duds. AO, FO and USO all were disappointments.

veryborednow
Sep 28th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Women in the UK don't get equal pay for equal work anyway, I think it's purely a man-made argument to prevent women in all areas from achiving equal status.

You could approach it from a sociological view - how sport reflects society. Bet you could find more factual evidence for that.

Because, at the end of the day, prize money has nothing to do with effort produced, or time played, but profits gained. Footballers get paid more than rugby players, not because they play 10 minutes more, but because ticket prices are higher/TV revenues etc. If women get paid less throughout the tour because they can't command the same revenues as the men, then fair enough. But Women should be paid equal money when they are contributing entertainment in the same physical place as the men - Grand Slams. Because it's impossible for a fan to say they have paid for a ticket solely for mens/womens matches. Two sports effectively become one FINANCIALLY - you watch both, TV coverage shows both, newspaper coverage.

It SHOULD be economics, but its society that determines that women get paid less at Wimbledon/French Open. [For example, and correct me if I'm wrong. Women get shorter practice times at Wimbledon, and have to fit it around the men? Why? Surely they need MORE practice because their matches are shorter, they have less time on court to get used to the surface, and have fewer sets they can lose and still potentially win the match] But no.

You want to ask in your thesis - why do we argue prize money in terms of 'equal work' in tennis and not any other sport. How does one determine 'equal work' when mens and womens bodies are different and capable of different things?

You'll probably return to the fact its an argument created by males in tennis to assert their superiority over their female ccounterparts. It's an argument they can't win if they're not allowed, and who's in the position to allow them? ;)

TonyP
Sep 28th, 2005, 04:08 PM
It seems to me to be quite hard to call for equal pay, but then to say women's and men's bodies are different and the work load does not have to be equal. This is not what women have been arguing now for thirty years. If women are not strong enough to carry the fire hose up a ladder, should they be allowed to be firefighters? Or should they be in a different, lower paid category of firefighter? Shouldn't they be able to do everything a man does, if they want equal pay with a man.

Most office jobs do not have physical requirements, so the argument does not apply there. A woman accountant or lawyer can do anything a man can, so there doesn't seem to be any basis for salary discrimination there.

But being a firefighter or a tennis player does have physical requirements and to say women deserve equal pay there for performing less work seems strange indeed.

And claiming women are more dramatic doesn't in my view help the cause for equal pay. I think we have seen in recent years very strong evidence that women more often choke away leads or else play poorly in big matches. How many good slam finals have we seen among the women in recent years? How many have we seen where one woman player or the other completely folded in a slam final. Last year's French and Us Opens were good examples. This years AO, with Davenport losing the third set at love. How about Pierce's performances in slam finals. Being more emotional does not necessary mean, better tennis. How about Serena's lack luster performance against her sister at Wimbledon. As they say in Hollywood, big production, no story.

AsGoodAsNew
Sep 28th, 2005, 05:54 PM
Women in the UK don't get equal pay for equal work anyway, I think it's purely a man-made argument to prevent women in all areas from achiving equal status.

You could approach it from a sociological view - how sport reflects society. Bet you could find more factual evidence for that.

Because, at the end of the day, prize money has nothing to do with effort produced, or time played, but profits gained. Footballers get paid more than rugby players, not because they play 10 minutes more, but because ticket prices are higher/TV revenues etc. If women get paid less throughout the tour because they can't command the same revenues as the men, then fair enough. But Women should be paid equal money when they are contributing entertainment in the same physical place as the men - Grand Slams. Because it's impossible for a fan to say they have paid for a ticket solely for mens/womens matches. Two sports effectively become one FINANCIALLY - you watch both, TV coverage shows both, newspaper coverage.

It SHOULD be economics, but its society that determines that women get paid less at Wimbledon/French Open. [For example, and correct me if I'm wrong. Women get shorter practice times at Wimbledon, and have to fit it around the men? Why? Surely they need MORE practice because their matches are shorter, they have less time on court to get used to the surface, and have fewer sets they can lose and still potentially win the match] But no.

You want to ask in your thesis - why do we argue prize money in terms of 'equal work' in tennis and not any other sport. How does one determine 'equal work' when mens and womens bodies are different and capable of different things?

You'll probably return to the fact its an argument created by males in tennis to assert their superiority over their female ccounterparts. It's an argument they can't win if they're not allowed, and who's in the position to allow them? ;)
Are you the inspiration for the character in Viz called Milli Tant? :devil:

FaceyFacem
Sep 28th, 2005, 06:50 PM
i'd tend to agree with your supervisor. sure it's a pretty significant issue and strong arguments can be made either way but more often than not the people marking it are going to expect a hell of a lot emperical evidence. this is not an headline issue and tends to make a blurb at best in the mainstream media, and although that doesn't mean you can't do it (most aré quite random), it will make you task tougher.

i had grand aspirations in my firsts years at uni of writing my thesis in economics on a tennis related matter but when it came to actually picking my subject area last year i realised it would serve little purpose for where i want to be. of course that's just me though - i've actually deferred it now because i'm working full time and i found i didn't have time to research and write something worthwhile.

good luck though.


thanks for the encouragement!! in fact, my seminar is called "sports economics" and therefore choosing tennis as a writing topic becomes more and more feasible although certainly economics is a broad enough topic to allow for almost anything to be written about

in response to everyone, i really appreciate your input and am planning to compile all the possibles and impossibles pertaining to this topic that could affect my ability to write an effective paper on this topic...i'm meanwhile considering other tennis related economic topics to see what i could do...
some of my thoughts:
us open series as an economically viable "collusion"
the economics of appearance fees/bonus money at the end of the year for the gold exempt

give me other suggestions too while i work towards making this paper happen