Wage Discrimination in the NBA: Evidence Using Free Agent Signings

35 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2018 Last revised: 30 Aug 2019

See all articles by Candon Johnson

Candon Johnson

West Virginia University - Department of Economics

Eduardo Minuci

North Carolina A&T State University

Date Written: August 28, 2019

Abstract

This research paper investigates the prominence of wage discrimination in the National Basketball Association (NBA) using free agent signings from 2011-2017 allowing us to better capture the determinants of player wages, a limitation in previous NBA wage discrimination literature. Using the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition and weighted linear regression models, we find that black athletes are paid significantly less than their counterparts. In addition, weighted quantile regressions show evidence of consumer discrimination presence in the league. This is observed through the result that black players with high audience visibility experience a larger racial wage gap; moreover, this gap is positively related to the share of white population of MSA where the player is employed.

Keywords: Wage Discrimination, NBA, Free Agents, Labor Market

JEL Classification: J71, L83

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Candon and Minuci, Eduardo, Wage Discrimination in the NBA: Evidence Using Free Agent Signings (August 28, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3276247 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3276247

Candon Johnson

West Virginia University - Department of Economics ( email )

Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Eduardo Minuci (Contact Author)

North Carolina A&T State University ( email )

Greensboro, NC 27411
United States

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