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Racial Integration as an Innovation: Empirical Evidence from Sports Leagues

  • Brian L. Goff
  • Robert E. McCormick
  • Robert D. Tollison

This paper treats racial integration as an innovation in economic process in which economic entities find it advantageous to utilize potentially more productive inputs previously unavailable due to law, custom, or managerial discretion. Data on the racial integration of Major League Baseball and Atlantic Coast Conference basketball are employed to address this issue. The central question examined is which type of team integrated first—losers or winners? The results strongly support the idea that entrepreneurship trumps competitive rivalry; that is, winning teams led the process of racial integration.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282802760015586
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 16-26

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:1:p:16-26
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802760015586
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  1. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
  2. Clement, Robert C & McCormick, Robert E, 1989. "Coaching Team Production," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 287-304, April.
  3. Wright, Gavin, 1999. "The Civil Rights Revolution as Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(02), pages 267-289, June.
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