Racial discrimination and professional basketball salaries in the 1990s
Racial differences in professional basketball player salaries are examined to determine whether the 20% premium paid to whites in the mid-1980s has persisted into the 1990s. OLS and tobit regressions indicate no difference between white and black salaries, controlling for player and team characteristics for the 1994 - 95 season. However, censored quantile regressions show substantial racial differences at certain points in the salary distribution. Whites earn less than blacks at the lower end of the distribution, although the difference is not statistically significant, and varies with minutes played. In contrast, whites receive a significant premium (18%) at the upper end of the salary distribution. These findings are consistent with a form of consumer discrimination in which sports fans prefer to see white star players, all else equal.