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Interracial Workplace Cooperation: Evidence from the NBA

  • Joseph Price
  • Lars Lefgren
  • Henry Tappen

Using data from the National Basketball Association (NBA), we examine whether patterns of workplace cooperation occur disproportionately among workers of the same race. We find that, holding constant the composition of teammates on the floor, basketball players are no more likely to complete an assist to a player of the same race than a player of a different race. Our confidence interval allows us to reject even small amounts of same-race bias in passing patterns. Our findings suggest that high levels of interracial cooperation can occur in a setting where workers are operating in a highly visible setting with strong incentives to behave efficiently.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14749.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14749.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Publication status: published as Joseph Price & Lars Lefgren & Henry Tappen, 2013. "Interracial Workplace Cooperation: Evidence From The Nba," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 1026-1034, 01.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14749
Note: LS
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  1. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Rider, Mark & Walker, Mary Beth, 1997. "Race and the Structure of School Districts in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 281-300, March.
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  3. Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1859-1887, November.
  4. Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2006. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," Working Papers 060710, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  5. Kate Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2009. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 163-177, February.
  6. Michael A. Stoll & Steven Raphael & Harry J. Holzer, 2004. "Black Job Applicants and the Hiring Officer's Race," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 267-287, January.
  7. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," JCPR Working Papers 61, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  9. Donohue, John J, III & Levitt, Steven D, 2001. "The Impact of Race on Policing and Arrests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 367-94, October.
  10. Brasington, David M., 1999. "Joint provision of public goods: the consolidation of school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 373-393, September.
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