Race and Employment Outcomes: Evidence from NBA Coaches

45 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017 Last revised: 20 Jan 2020

See all articles by Nicholas Hill

Nicholas Hill

Bates White

Marc Remer

Swarthmore College - Economics Department

Date Written: October 2, 2018


Increasing diversity in upper management positions is often cited as a way to improve a firm's performance and generate more diverse hires. We study the impact of management diversity on employment outcomes using rich data on NBA head coaches that includes information on the race of each coach and his supervisor. The data allows us to analyze how race affects multiple facets of the labor market, including hiring decisions, how quickly coaches are rehired, and the quality of jobs received. We find evidence that a supervisor is more likely to hire a coach of his own race. We also find that black coaches are less likely to be rehired to a second job within three years than their white counterparts, and that a head coach's race affects the quality of the opportunities he is offered. These findings are generally stronger for first-time coaches than experienced coaches, suggesting that observable information on performance mitigates bias. Finally, we argue that the results are consistent with taste-based discrimination.

Keywords: Labor Market Discrimination, Racial Bias, Sports Economics

JEL Classification: J7, J71

Suggested Citation

Hill, Nicholas and Remer, Marc, Race and Employment Outcomes: Evidence from NBA Coaches (October 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3054233 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3054233

Nicholas Hill

Bates White ( email )

1300 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Marc Remer (Contact Author)

Swarthmore College - Economics Department ( email )

Swarthmore, PA 19081
United States

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