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Measuring discrimination in major league baseball: evidence from the baseball hall of fame

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This paper examines the effects of race on player induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, concentrating on a player's first ballot. Past research has found some evidence of discrimination in voting against retired Major League Baseball players who were born in a Latin American country and against American-born black players. This study finds that estimates of discrimination in Hall of Fame voting are sensitive to specification. However, we do find limited evidence that retired players who are both black and Latin face some voting discrimination. Furthermore, the results show that race does not seem to affect whether a player actually receives enough votes to get into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. Instead, it appears that any discrimination in voting is concentrated among those players who would not have received enough votes to enter the Hall of Fame based solely on their career statistics.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-20

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