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Is Racial Salary Discrimination Disappearing in the NBA? Evidence from Data during 1985--2015

Hisahiro Naito and Yu Takagi

Tsukuba Economics Working Papers from Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba

Abstract: This study re-examines the racial salary gap of National Basketball Association players by constructing a long unbalanced panel covering the 1985--1986 to 2015--2016 seasons. Contrary to the results of previous studies, we find that non-white players are paid equally to white players with similar characteristics in the 1980s and 1990s, but that white players started to be paid about 20 percent more than non-white players in the last 10 years. Our results are robust to all specification checks, such as quantile regressions, controlling sample selection, different contract types, and player nationality. We find that neither employer preference nor income gap of white and black residents explains this increasing salary gap.

Date: 2017-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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