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Moral Hazard and the Effects of the Designated Hitter Rule Revisited

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  • Goff, Brian L
  • Shughart, William F, II
  • Tollison, Robert D

Abstract

New evidence seems to cast doubt on the hypothesis that the American League's adoption of the designated hitter rule in 1973 created a moral hazard problem for pitchers. In particular, the substitution of hard-hitting designated hitters for weak-hitting pitchers in the American League supposedly explains the lion's share of interleague differences in hit batsmen. However, theoretical and empirical questions about the explanatory power of this alternative hypothesis leads the authors to the conclusion that moral hazard remains the most plausible reason why more American League than National League batters have been hit by pitches in twenty-two of the past twenty-five seasons. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 688-692, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:36:y:1998:i:4:p:688-92
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    Cited by:

    1. Kendall, Graham & Lenten, Liam J.A., 2017. "When sports rules go awry," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 257(2), pages 377-394.
    2. Akihiko Kawaura & Sumner J. La Croix, 2007. "The Designated Hitter Rule and Team Defensive Strategy in Japan's Professional Baseball Leagues," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 8(5), pages 491-504, October.
    3. Akihiko Kawaura & Sumner La Croix, 2010. "The Designated Hitter Rule in Baseball as a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 201005, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    4. Liam J.A. Lenten & Jan Libich & Petr Stehlík, 2013. "Policy Timing and Footballers' Incentives," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 14(6), pages 629-655, December.

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