nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2019‒08‒19
one paper chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Wages and labor productivity. Evidence from injuries in the National Football League By Ian Gregory- Smith

  1. By: Ian Gregory- Smith (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Studies in labor economics face severe difficulties when identifying the relationship between wages and labor productivity. This paper presents a novel identification strategy and demonstrates that the connection between wages and labor productivity is remarkably robust even when institutional constraints serve to distort the relationship. Identification is achieved by considering injuries to professional football players as an exogenous shock to labor productivity. This is an ideal empirical setting because injured players in the NFL can not be replaced easily because franchises are constrained by the salary cap. Injuries are shown to play a major role in franchise success and a tight connection between wages and marginal productivity emerges. This is in spite of regulatory frictions that serve to hold down wages for some workers
    Keywords: Wages, labor, productivity, injuries, sports
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2019–06

This nep-spo issue is ©2019 by Humberto Barreto. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.