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Consumer discrimination in professional sports: new evidence from major league baseball

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  • Mark Foley
  • Fred Smith

Abstract

Previous research in sports economics has looked for the presence of consumer discrimination among sports fans of professional teams and it has produced mixed results. Scully (1974a, b) found evidence to suggest that fans of Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs did engage in consumer discrimination in the 1970s, but more recent work by Sommers and Quinton (1982) found no such evidence. In this article, we present evidence that suggests that consumer discrimination persisted in MLB into the early 1990s. Specifically, our empirical work suggests that consumers in Boston, Cleveland, Houston, San Diego and Saint Louis chose to attend fewer baseball games-ceteris paribus-when the home team in these cities added Hispanic players to the roster.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Foley & Fred Smith, 2007. "Consumer discrimination in professional sports: new evidence from major league baseball," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(13), pages 951-955.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:14:y:2007:i:13:p:951-955
    DOI: 10.1080/13504850600705935
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul M. Sommers & Noel Quinton, 1982. "Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball: The Case of the First Family of Free Agents," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 426-436.
    2. Richard C. K. Burdekin & Richard T. Hossfeld & Janet Kiholm Smith, 2005. "Are NBA Fans Becoming Indifferent to Race? Evidence From the 1990s," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(2), pages 144-159, May.
    3. Gwartney, James & Haworth, Charles, 1974. "Employer Costs and Discrimination: The Case of Baseball," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 873-881, July/Aug..
    4. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1991. "Discrimination in Professional Sports: A Survey of the Literature," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 395-418, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Young Hoon Lee & Ilhyeok Park & Joon-Ho Kang & Younghan Lee, 2013. "An economic analysis of the sudden influx of Korean female golfers into the LPGA," Chapters, in: Eva Marikova Leeds & Michael A. Leeds (ed.),Handbook on the Economics of Women in Sports, chapter 18, pages 388-409, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Jeffrey Chu & Saralees Nadarajah & Emmanuel Afuecheta & Stephen Chan & Ying Xu, 2014. "A statistical study of racism in English football," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(5), pages 2915-2937, September.
    3. Lenten, Liam J.A. & Geerling, Wayne & Kónya, László, 2012. "A hedonic model of player wage determination from the Indian Premier League auction: Further evidence," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 60-71.
    4. Liam J A Lenten & Wayne Geerling & László Kónya, 2010. "A Hedonic Model of Player Wage Determination from the Indian Premier League Auction#," Working Papers 2010.04, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    5. Barry Reilly, 2014. "Labour market discrimination," Chapters, in: John Goddard & Peter Sloane (ed.),Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football, chapter 15, pages 238-258, Edward Elgar Publishing.

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