The Effect of the Designated Hitter Rule on Hit Batsmen: Pitcher's Moral Hazard or the Team's Cost-Benefit Calculation? A Comment
Brian L. Goff, William F. Shughart, and Robert D. Tollison (1997) attribute the American League's higher hit-batsman rate since 1973 to moral hazard: pitchers who no longer bat no longer face retaliation. The authors argue that retaliation is more efficiently directed at sluggers than at weak-hitting pitchers, and show that American League designated hitters are plunked more frequently than are National League pitchers. They also offer a new estimating equation and update Goff, Shughart, and Tollison's sample. The authors show that the desiginated hitters' effect on hit batsmen is no longer statistically significant. However, the point estimates are close to their prediction, which does not rely on moral hazard. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.
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Volume (Year): 36 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
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