nep-spo New Economics Papers
on Sports and Economics
Issue of 2022‒09‒19
one paper chosen by
Humberto Barreto
DePauw University

  1. Discrimination in a Rank Order Contest. Evidence from the NFL Draft By Gregory-Smith, Ian; Bryson, Alex; Gomez, Rafael

  1. By: Gregory-Smith, Ian (University of Sheffield); Bryson, Alex (University College London); Gomez, Rafael (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: This paper examines discrimination in the NFL draft. The NFL is a favourable empirical setting to examine the role of skin colour because franchise selectors are required to make rank-order judgements of players based on noisy signals of future productivity. Since wages are tightly related to the rank-order of the draft for the first four years of a player's career, even if discrimination plays only a marginal role in selection, there could be a large discriminatory impact. We observe large unadjusted racial differences in drafting. However, much of the variation is explained by Black and White players selecting into different playing positions. Conditional upon a large set of control variables, including athletic performance at a marque selection event (the NFL combine), we do not find robust evidence of racial discrimination in NFL drafting between 2000 and 2018.
    Keywords: discrimination, race, NFL
    JEL: J15 J24
    Date: 2022–08

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