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Working Paper

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Are highly skilled foreign professionals paid differently than their native-born counterparts? To address this question, this study focuses on a particular profession with substantial inflows of immigrants, in which human capital is readily transferrable: Major League Baseball (MLB). Racial discrimination in professional sports has received considerable attention, but it remains to be seen whether there has been differential treatment of foreign athletes. Focusing on a 1997-1998 sample of 557 MLB players, we find that foreign players are indeed treated differently than native-born players, favorably in some respects and unfavorably in others. Moreover, when controlling for birthplace, the extent of racial discrimination must be reconsidered.

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Economics Commons



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