Missing Links from this Past Week

Posted on August 14, 2010 by


As I noted in my last post, I was on vacation for part of this past week.  While I was away there were a few events that deserved some comment.  Thankfully we now have a Wages of Wins Network, so even when I am not around someone else tends to step forward and offer some thoughts (that are often better than anything I was going to say).

So here is a quick list of links I missed, as well as some other items that I think people might find interesting.

Let me close with a quick comment on some comments in my last post.  The last post noted that David Lee and Troy Murphy are two players on losing teams that are actually quite productive.  This led to some speculation that the race of Lee and Murphy impacted the evaluation of each player.  The subject of race and player evaluation in the NBA has been examined by economists since at least the 1980s.  Much of this literature was summarized in the following paper I published in 2006: “Economics and the National Basketball Association: Surveying the Literature at the Tip-off.” in The Handbook of Sports Economics Research; edited by John Fizel; M.E. Sharpe, Inc.: 21-48.

Stacey Brook, Martin Schmidt, and I also published the following study of salaries in the NBA: “Does One Simply Need to Score to Score?”International Journal of Sport Finance, 2, n4; (November): 190-205.

This paper looked at a variety of factors that could impact a free agent’s salary.  In addition to considering past performance, market size, injuries, and position played; we also considered the player’s race.  In none of our formulations was race statistically significant.

Going back to the literature review… there is some evidence that race played a role in salary determination in the 1980s (and there is also some evidence that race did not play a role back in the 1980s).  But I think most studies of recent data offered the same conclusion we reached.  Specifically, I don’t think race plays a significant role in player evaluation in the NBA today. 

– DJ

P.S. By the way, some of you have noticed that this blog looks a bit different lately.  That is because WordPress accidently made some changes.  I am working with WordPress to get this blog back to what it was before it was attacked by a bug.  Not sure how long this will take, though.  One thing to remember about this blog.  Not only do I work for free, but WordPress hosts the blog for free.

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