IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Race and compensation in professional football


  • Mark Gius
  • Donn Johnson


Although there have been numerous studies on the effect of race on the compensation of National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball players, there have been only three prior studies that investigated the effect of race on the compensation of National Football League (NFL) players. Two found no evidence of racial discrimination in NFL player compensation, while one found that, at most, whites earn on average 4% more than African-Americans. Using salary data for 938 NFL players from the 1996 season and player and market characteristic data from the 1995 season, a log-linear wage equation was estimated, and a Chow Test was performed. The results indicate that white players earned 10% less than African-American players. Other important factors affecting an NFL player's salary were experience, position, percentage of games started, and the draft status of the player. These results indicate that reverse wage discrimination based on race may exist in the NFL.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Gius & Donn Johnson, 2000. "Race and compensation in professional football," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 73-75.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:7:y:2000:i:2:p:73-75
    DOI: 10.1080/135048500351843

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Quinn Andrew Wesley Keefer, 2013. "Compensation Discrimination for Defensive Players," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 14(1), pages 23-44, February.
    2. Benno Torgler, 2004. "?La Grande Boucle?: Determinants of Success at the Tour de France," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-22, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA), revised May 2005.
    3. Johnny Ducking & Peter A. Groothuis & James Richard Hill, 2017. "Compensation Discrimination: an Analysis of Linebackers, Defensive Linemen, and Defensive Backs in the National Football League," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 251-260, December.
    4. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 2011. "Disciplinary sanctions in English Premiership Football: Is there a racial dimension?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 360-370, June.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:7:y:2000:i:2:p:73-75. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.