Sunday, September 14, 2008

Labor market discrimination

Skip Sauer and Russ Roberts discuss moneyball and baseball in this interesting podcast. Becker and Posner discussed competition, discrimination and law in their blog entry of a week ago. Linking the two is interesting. Labor market economics suggests that systematic discrimination against large minority groups can be costly to bigoted employers. Roberts and Sauer mention the fact that in baseball the National League integrated its rosters before the American League -- and beat them in inter-league play for many years until the AL owners threw in the towel. Why did it take them so long? Baseball owners enjoyed some "monopoly" status and the price of racial discrimination was comparatively small.