Date of Completion

Spring 4-30-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Thomas Miceli

Honors Major



Behavioral Economics | Economic History


This paper compares and contrasts the economic model for baseball in the 20th century without technology and the economic model for baseball in the 21st century with technology. Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have evolved to use technology to improve the performance of players on the field. This paper explores the economics of penalties in MLB and how teams are penalized for their use of illegal technology. In the 2017 season, the Houston Astros used illegal technology that led the team to win the World Series. This paper provides a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether or not a team should use illegal technology. This paper proposes that MLB teams are experiencing a prisoner’s dilemma due to the existence of illegal technology. Additionally, potential solutions are explored about how MLB could deter the use of illegal technology.