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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 4 (June 2011)

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Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation

Article Citation

Parsons, Christopher A., Johan Sulaeman, Michael C. Yates, and Daniel S. Hamermesh. 2011. "Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation." American Economic Review, 101(4): 1410-35.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.4.1410

Abstract

Major League Baseball umpires express their racial/ethnic preferences when they evaluate pitchers. Strikes are called less often if the umpire and pitcher do not match race/ethnicity, but mainly where there is little scrutiny of umpires. Pitchers understand the incentives and throw pitches that allow umpires less subjective judgment (e.g., fastballs over home plate) when they anticipate bias. These direct and indirect effects bias performance measures of minorities downward. The results suggest how discrimination alters discriminated groups' behavior generally. They imply that biases in measured productivity must be accounted for in generating measures of wage discrimination. (JEL J15, J31, J44, J71, L83)

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Authors

Parsons, Christopher A. (U NC)
Sulaeman, Johan (Southern Methodist U)
Yates, Michael C. (Auburn U)
Hamermesh, Daniel S. (U TX and Maastricht U)

JEL Classifications

J15: Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
J44: Professional Labor Markets; Occupational Licensing
J71: Labor Discrimination
L83: Sports; Gambling; Recreation; Tourism


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