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

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  • Christopher R. Bollinger

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Julie L. Hotchkiss

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher R. Bollinger & Julie L. Hotchkiss, 2003. "The Upside Potential of Hiring Risky Workers: Evidence from the Baseball Industry," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 923-944, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:21:y:2003:i:4:p:923-944
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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, January.
    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 261-268, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Ehrenberg, Ronald G & Bognanno, Michael L, 1990. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1307-1324, December.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel A. Rascher & John Paul G. Solmes, 2007. "Do Fans Want Close Contests? A Test of the Uncertainty of Outcome Hypothesis in the National Basketball Association," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 2(3), pages 130-141, August.
    2. John D. Burger & Stephen J.K. Walters, 2008. "The Existence and Persistence of a Winner's Curse: New Evidence from the (Baseball) Field," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 232-245, July.
    3. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2011. "Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Cornaglia, Francesca & Feldman, Naomi E., 2011. "Productivity, Wages, and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball," IZA Discussion Papers 5695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Camelia M. Kuhnen & Paul Oyer, 2016. "Exploration for Human Capital: Evidence from the MBA Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 255-286.
    6. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    7. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, January.
    8. Peter Groothuis & Richard Hill & Timothy Perri, 2004. "Early Entry in the NBA Draft: The Influence of Unraveling, Human Capital and Option Value," Working Papers 04-05, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University, revised 2005.
    9. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1091-1103 is not listed on IDEAS

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