Discrimination in Hiring V. Retention and Promotion: An Empirical Analysis of within Firm Treatment of Workers in the NFL

Posted: 20 Oct 2005

See all articles by Michael Conlin

Michael Conlin

Syracuse University - Department of Economics

Patrick Munro Emerson

Independent

Abstract

If the costs and benefits of discriminating at the hiring stage differ from those at the retention and promotion stages, as recent evidence suggests, the effect of an individual's race on a firm's hiring decision should differ from its effect on the firm's retention and promotion decisions. This paper presents the first direct empirical test of this proposition. Using data of players drafted into the National Football League (NFL), we show that after controlling for draft selection, position, team, draft year, collegiate division and team wins the prior season, white players have a 0.13 lower probability of having an active contract and start 1.56 games less than non-white players. When compared to the average probability of a drafted player having an active contract, 0.48, and the average number of starts, 2.6 games, these results provide strong evidence that non-white players face hiring discrimination in the NFL, but are treated more equitably in retention and promotion decisions.

Keywords: Discrimination, race, employment

JEL Classification: J71, D23

Suggested Citation

Conlin, Michael and Emerson, Patrick Munro, Discrimination in Hiring V. Retention and Promotion: An Empirical Analysis of within Firm Treatment of Workers in the NFL. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=822228

Michael Conlin (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

110 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States
315 443 1354 (Phone)
315 443 3717 (Fax)

Patrick Munro Emerson

Independent

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