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The Upside Potential of Hiring Risky Workers: Evidence from the Baseball Industry

  • Christopher R. Bollinger

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Julie L. Hotchkiss

    (Georgia State University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

Making use of performance data for baseball players, this article provides empirical evidence in support of Lazear's (1998) theoretical predictions that (1) risky workers will earn a premium for their upside potential, (2) this risk premium will be higher the longer a worker's work life, and (3) firms must enjoy some comparative advantage in the labor market to be willing to pay a premium to risky workers. The validity of Lazear's predictions carries implications for wage differentials between young and old workers and between men and women.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/377027
File Function: main text
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 923-944

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:21:y:2003:i:4:p:923-944
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. AC. Krautmann & E. Gustafson & L. Hadley, 2000. "Who pays for minor league training costs?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 37-47, 01.
  2. Blass, Asher A, 1992. "Does the Baseball Labor Market Contradict the Human Capital Model of Investment?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 261-68, May.
  3. Laura Poppo & Keith Weigelt, 2000. "A Test of the Resource-Based Model Using Baseball Free Agents," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 585-614, December.
  4. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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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