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The Designated Hitter Rule and Team Defensive Strategy in Japan's Professional Baseball Leagues

Author

Listed:
  • Akihiko Kawaura

    () (Graduate School of Policy and Management, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan)

  • Sumner J. La Croix

    () (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii and Economic Study Area, East-West Center)

Abstract

Economists have debated whether and why the designated hitter (DH) rule in North American major league baseball led to an increase in hit-batsmen. We use data from Japan's professional baseball leagues, the Pacific League (DH rule) and the Central League (no DH rule), to re-examine this question. Our empirical findings reveal increases in hit-batsmen in the Pacific League after we control for the DH's effect on team batting performance. We argue that the DH rule induced changes in managerial defensive strategies that led to more hit-batsmen. Subsequent rule changes reduced the effectiveness of these strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Akihiko Kawaura & Sumner J. La Croix, 2005. "The Designated Hitter Rule and Team Defensive Strategy in Japan's Professional Baseball Leagues," Economics Study Area Working Papers 80, East-West Center, Economics Study Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:ewc:wpaper:wp80
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Trandel, Gregory A & White, Lawrence H & Klein, Peter G, 1998. "The Effect of the Designated Hitter Rule on Hit Batsmen: Pitcher's Moral Hazard or the Team's Cost-Benefit Calculation? A Comment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 679-684, October.
    2. Goff, Brian L & Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1997. "Batter Up! Moral Hazard and the Effects of the Designated Hitter Rule on Hit Batsmen," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 555-561, July.
    3. La Croix, Sumner J & Kawaura, Akihiko, 1999. "Rule Changes and Competitive Balance in Japanese Professional Baseball," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(2), pages 353-368, April.
    4. Ohtake Fumio & Ohkusa Yasushi, 1994. "Testing the Matching Hypothesis: The Case of Professional Baseball in Japan with Comparisons to the United States," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 204-219, June.
    5. Yasushi Ohkusa, 1999. "Additional evidence for the career concern hypothesis with uncertainty of the retirement period - the case of professional baseball players in Japan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(11), pages 1481-1487.
    6. Eckard, E Woodrow, 2001. "Free Agency, Competitive Balance, and Diminishing Returns to Pennant Contention," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 430-443, July.
    7. Rodney Fort & James Quirk, 1995. "Cross-subsidization, Incentives, and Outcomes in Professional Team Sports Leagues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 1265-1299, September.
    8. Goff, Brian L & Shughart, William F, II & Tollison, Robert D, 1998. "Moral Hazard and the Effects of the Designated Hitter Rule Revisited," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 688-692, October.
    9. Daly, George & Moore, William J, 1981. "Externalities, Property Rights and the Allocation of Resources in Major League Baseball," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(1), pages 77-95, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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