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date: 08 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article uses basketball as the laboratory to look at discrimination in pay, hiring, and retention against black National Basketball Association (NBA) players and coaches, and gender discrimination among college coaches. It describes Gary Becker's analysis of the possible sources of discrimination in labor markets. It then outlines the evidence on each of the possible forms of discrimination in basketball, including both a discussion of methodological issues and substantive findings. Racial discrimination in professional basketball seemed more prevalent in the 1980s than is the case today. The issue of whether a gender difference in revenue produced is a legitimate factor upon which to base a gender difference in coaching salaries is an open question from the legal point of view. The evidence for customer discrimination in the NBA in the 1990s and 2000s seems weaker than it was during the 1980s.

Keywords: National Basketball Association, gender discrimination, coaching salaries, pay, hiring, retention, Gary Becker, labor markets, racial discrimination

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