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Race and the Likelihood of Managing in Major League Baseball


  • Brian Volz



The impact of race on the likelihood of former Major League Baseball players becoming managers is analyzed using data from 1975 to 2008. The multivariate probit model presented controls for the effects of race, performance, star status, education, coaching, minor league managing, and playing experience. Marginally significant evidence is found that black former players are 74 % less likely to become managers at the major league level than observationally equivalent white former players. It is also observed that former catchers and shortstops are the most likely to become coaches or managers. Historically, black players have been underrepresented at the catcher and shortstop positions and overrepresented at the outfield positions. This provides evidence that historical differences in position played may have contributed to the relatively small number of black managers in Major League Baseball. Significant evidence is found that Hispanic former players are 66 and 69 % less likely to coach in the major leagues and manage in the minor leagues than observationally equivalent white former players. Coaching and minor league managing experience increase the likelihood of managing in the major leagues. Therefore, discrimination at these levels may lead to a lower number of Hispanic major league managers. It should be noted that while this study does control for education it does not directly control for English language skills. If Hispanic players are less likely to speak English than white players this may contribute to the negative effect found in this analysis. It is also shown that all star status reduces the likelihood of coaching or managing while seasons spent in the majors increase the likelihood of coaching or managing. This implies that players with long but unexceptional careers are most likely to become managers. This finding may reflect the greater opportunities available to star players after retirement. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Volz, 2013. "Race and the Likelihood of Managing in Major League Baseball," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 30-51, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jlabre:v:34:y:2013:i:1:p:30-51
    DOI: 10.1007/s12122-012-9153-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keane, Michael P, 1994. "A Computationally Practical Simulation Estimator for Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 95-116, January.
    2. R. Todd Jewell & Robert Brown & Scott Miles, 2002. "Measuring discrimination in major league baseball: evidence from the baseball hall of fame," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 167-177.
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    4. Janice Fanning Madden & Matthew Ruther, 2011. "Has the NFL's Rooney Rule Efforts “Leveled the Field” for African American Head Coach Candidates?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 12(2), pages 127-142, April.
    5. Clark Nardinelli & Curtis Simon, 1990. "Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Memorabilia: The Case of Baseball," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 575-595.
    6. Gabriel, Paul E & Johnson, Curtis & Stanton, Timothy J, 1995. "An Examination of Customer Racial Discrimination in the Market for Baseball Memorabilia," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(2), pages 215-230, April.
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    8. Hanssen, F Andrew & Andersen, Torben, 1999. "Has Discrimination Lessened over Time? A Test Using Baseball's All-Star Vote," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(2), pages 326-352, April.
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    More about this item


    Discrimination; Management; Baseball;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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