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Interracial Workplace Cooperation: Evidence from the NBA

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  • Joseph Price
  • Lars Lefgren
  • Henry Tappen

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph Price & Lars Lefgren & Henry Tappen, 2009. "Interracial Workplace Cooperation: Evidence from the NBA," NBER Working Papers 14749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14749
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2008. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 459-477, August.
    3. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina & Romain Wacziarg, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1276-1296, December.
    4. Joseph Price & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Racial Discrimination Among NBA Referees," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1859-1887.
    5. 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 367-394, October.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2013. "Language Skills and Homophilous Hiring Discrimination: Evidence from Gender-and Racially-Differentiated Applications," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00877458, HAL.
    2. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1032-1053 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:indres:v:56:y:2017:i:4:p:555-604 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production

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