The Designated Hitter Rule in Baseball as a Natural Experiment
All but two professional baseball leagues have adopted the “designated hitter” (DH) rule, which allows a team’s manager to designate a player to bat at the plate and run the bases in place of another player, usually the team’s pitcher. Unlike the team’s other players, the designated hitter does not take the field to play defense. This paper provides a survey of a large literature investigating the DH rule’s effect on the incentives of pitchers to hit batters and on changes in the number of hit batsmen. We also consider whether the DH rule provides a good example of a natural experiment, as some professional baseball leagues were “treated” with the DH rule and others were not treated.
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- 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 679-84, October.
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- Akihiko Kawaura, 2010. "Designated Hitter Rule Debate: A Search for Mr. Hyde in Pitchers," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(3), pages 349-357, June.
- 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 555-61, July.
- Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-36, June.
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