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The Designated Hitter Rule and Team Defensive Strategy in Japan’s Professional Baseball Leagues

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  • Akihiko Kawaura

    ()
    (Graduate School of Policy and Management, Doshisha University)

  • Sumner J La Croix

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Abstract

Economists have debated whether and why the designated hitter (DH) rule in North American major league baseball led to an increase in hit-batsmen. We use data from Japan's professional baseball leagues, the Pacific League (DH rule) and the Central League (no DH rule), to re-examine this question. Initial empirical findings reveal increases in hit-batsmen in the Pacific League after we control for the DH’s effect on team batting performance. After controlling for interactions between pitcher quality and the DH rule, we find that the DH rule induced changes in team defensive strategies and, consequently, an increase in hit-batsmen. Subsequent rule changes reduced the effectiveness of these strategies.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_06-7.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200607.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 06 Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200607

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  1. Goff, Brian L & Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Effects of the Designated Hitter Rule Revisited," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 688-92, October.
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