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Demand for LaborThe Neglected Side of the Market$
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Daniel S. Hamermesh and Corrado Giulietti

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791379

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791379.001.0001

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Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation

Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation

Chapter:
(p.349) 16 Strike Three: Discrimination, Incentives, and Evaluation
Source:
Demand for Labor
Author(s):

Daniel S. Hamermesh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198791379.003.0016

We explore umpires’ racial/ethnic preferences in the evaluation of Major League Baseball pitchers. Controlling for umpire, pitcher, batter and catcher fixed effects and many other factors, strikes are more likely to be called if the umpire and pitcher match race/ethnicity. This effect only exists where there is little scrutiny of umpires’ behavior – in ballparks without computerized systems monitoring umpires’ calls, at poorly attended games, and when the called pitch cannot determine the outcome of the at-bat. If a pitcher shares the home-plate umpire’s race/ethnicity, he gives up fewer runs per game and improves his team’s chance of winning. The results suggest that standard measures of salary discrimination that adjust for measured productivity may generally be flawed. We derive the magnitude of the bias generally and apply it to several examples.

Keywords:   Ethnic discrimination, adjustment to discrimination, baseball, wages and discrimination, pitching

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