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Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher A. Parsons
  • Johan Sulaeman
  • Michael C. Yates
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

Major League Baseball umpires express their racial/ethnic preferences when they evaluate pitchers. Strikes are called less often if the umpire and pitcher do not match race/ethnicity, but mainly where there is little scrutiny of umpires. Pitchers understand the incentives and throw pitches that allow umpires less subjective judgment (e.g., fastballs over home plate) when they anticipate bias. These direct and indirect effects bias performance measures of minorities downward. The results suggest how discrimination alters discriminated groups' behavior generally. They imply that biases in measured productivity must be accounted for in generating measures of wage discrimination. (JEL J15, J31, J44, J71, L83)

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher A. Parsons & Johan Sulaeman & Michael C. Yates & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2011. "Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1410-1435, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:4:p:1410-35
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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