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Customer Racial Discrimination in Major League Baseball


  • Andersen, Torben
  • La Croix, Sumner J


Most studies of racial discrimination concentrate on identifying the existence rather than the source of discrimination. In contrast, this paper tests directly for racial discrimination by major league baseball customers by examining the market for baseball cards. In Tobit regressions, the market prices of cards consistently reflect player performance records and other demand variables. When interactive race-productivity variables are included in the models, a significant and complex pattern of fan discrimination against black pitchers and black hitters is found. Discrimination against Latin players is not found. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Torben & La Croix, Sumner J, 1991. "Customer Racial Discrimination in Major League Baseball," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 665-677, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:4:p:665-77

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William D. Nordhaus, 1980. "Policy Responses to the Productivity Slowdown," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 555, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 134-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Minasian, Jora R, 1969. "Research and Development, Production Functions, and Rates of Return," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 80-85, May.
    4. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Link, Albert N, 1981. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing: Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1111-1112, December.
    6. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard C. Levin & David C. Mowery, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 2205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Stern, Robert M & Baum, Christopher F & Greene, Mark N, 1979. "Evidence on Structural Change in the Demand for Aggregate U.S. Imports and Exports," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 179-192, February.
    8. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
    9. Cohen, Wesley M & Levin, Richard C & Mowery, David C, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-examination," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 543-565, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. yamamura, eiji, 2008. "Game Information, Local Heroes, And Their Effect On Attendance: The Case Of The Japanese Baseball League," MPRA Paper 10303, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Leonard, Jonathan S. & Levine, David I., 2003. "Diversity, discrimination, and performance," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt19d1c3n3, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    3. Francesca Cornaglia & Naomi E. Feldman, 2017. "Productivity, Wages, and Marriage: A Case Study in Professional Athletics," Working Papers 818, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. David W. Findlay & John M. Santos, 2012. "Race, Ethnicity, and Baseball Card Prices: A Replication, Correction, and Extension of Hewitt, Muñoz, Oliver, and Regoli," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(2), pages 122-140, May.
    5. McCormick, Robert E. & Tollison, Robert D., 2001. "Why do black basketball players work more for less money?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 201-219, February.
    6. Arthur Zillante, 2005. "Survival in a Declining Industry: The Case of Baseball Cards," Industrial Organization 0505004, EconWPA.
    7. Matthew Parrett, 2011. "Customer Discrimination in Restaurants: Dining Frequency Matters," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 87-112, June.
    8. David W. Findlay & Clifford E. Reid, 2002. "A comparison of two voting models to forecast election into The National Baseball Hall of Fame," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 99-113.
    9. Thompson Thomas H & Sen Kabir C, 2011. "Valuing Nostalgia: The Case of the Topps 1957 Baseball Cards," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-16, May.
    10. D Berri & R Simmons, 2007. "Race and the evaluation of signal callers in the national football league," Working Papers 591147, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.

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