This paper examines racial salary differences in the National Basketball Association for the 2008-2009 season. Previous studies that used data from the mid-1980s estimated salary premiums of between 16 and 20% for white players whose performance was comparable to black players. A study that used data from the late-1980s to early-1990s showed no significant salary differential between white and black players. Another study, using data from the 1990s, found no racial discrimination in the NBA, but did find a height premium of 7.4%. This paper will update previous studies by using more recent data to analyze salary discrimination in the NBA. I find that nonwhite players earn approximately $83,000 more than white players for the 2008-2009 season. Yet when I control for player productivity and other variables, I find a significant white premium of approximately 24.5%. I also find that customer discrimination is not evident in the NBA for the 2008- 2009 season.
Major Themes in Economics
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"Racial Salary Discrimination in the NBA: 2008-2009,"
Major Themes in Economics: Vol. 11
, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/mtie/vol11/iss1/3