nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2010‒04‒24
one paper chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. The Designated Hitter Rule in Baseball as a Natural Experiment By Akihiko Kawaura; Sumner La Croix

  1. By: Akihiko Kawaura (Department of Policy Studies, Doshisha University); Sumner La Croix (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: All but two professional baseball leagues have adopted the “designated hitter” (DH) rule, which allows a team’s manager to designate a player to bat at the plate and run the bases in place of another player, usually the team’s pitcher. Unlike the team’s other players, the designated hitter does not take the field to play defense. This paper provides a survey of a large literature investigating the DH rule’s effect on the incentives of pitchers to hit batters and on changes in the number of hit batsmen. We also consider whether the DH rule provides a good example of a natural experiment, as some professional baseball leagues were “treated” with the DH rule and others were not treated.
    Keywords: baseball, designated hitter, moral hazard, natural experiment, Japan
    JEL: L83 D82
    Date: 2010–04–07

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