Empirical Economic Bulletin, An Undergraduate Journal


This paper investigates the racial differences in salaries amongst professional basketball players during the 2011-2012 season. Prior studies from the 1980s and 1990s show that white and black players have earned a comparable mean salary, based on performance variables and other player characteristics. However these studies have shown, that taking race in as a factor when running regressions of the data, preference exists towards white player salaries. This paper looks to see if the recent shift in demographic makeup of the NBA prevalent during the late 1990s and 2000s has led to a more equitable distribution of salaries based on race, holding all variables of past studies constant. OLS regression results reveal that during the 2011-2012 NBA season a 15% premium paid to white players continues to exist despite comparable player statistics and mean compensation.