Racial Discrimination in Organized Baseball

by Anthony H. Pascal, L. A. Rapping


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Estimates of the parameters of a model of salary determination — in which the independent variables include measures of performance and experience, alternative earnings potential, and race — explain from one-half to three-fourths of the variation in individual salaries paid to baseball players during 1968. Generally, race had no significant impact on salary when considered in conjunction with "objective" measures of player value. Position by position, black players in the big leagues tend to outperform their white counterparts on the basis of objective measurements. Rather ironically, the study indicates that since on the average black salaries in major league baseball are higher than white salaries, significant prejudice exists in the industry. There seems to be equal pay for equal work, but unequal opportunity for equal ability. It is suggested that the findings derived for baseball in this study are characteristic also of the situation in other parts of the economy.

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