Three essays on the economics of professional baseball

Date of Completion

January 2009


Economics, General|Economics, Theory




This dissertation consists of three essays which apply the tools of economic analysis to the professional baseball industry. The first essay analyzes the effect of minority status on the survival of Major League Baseball managers. Using survival time analysis based on data from 1985 to 2006 it is shown that minorities are 9.6 percentage points more likely to return the following season than white managers with the same performance and personal characteristics. ^ The second essay analyzes the effect of race on the probability of a former Major League Baseball player becoming a manager. Probit models with sample selection correction are estimated using data on the performance and personal characteristics of players from 1955 to 2007. It is shown that given the same performance, personal characteristics, and popularity black former players are 70 to 82 percent less likely to become Major League managers than white former players. ^ The third essay uses data envelopment analysis to examine how efficiently Major League Baseball teams produced wins from 1986 to 2005. It is shown that on average both National and American League teams over allocate the most resources to first basemen. Additionally, on average National League teams under allocate the most resources towards starting pitching while American League teams under allocate the most resources toward second base. ^