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.
Bodvarsson, Örn B. and Fuess, Jr., Scott M., "Immigration of Highly Skilled Professionals: Discrimination in Professional Baseball?" (2006). Economics Faculty Working Papers. 10.