Is There a Wage Premium or Wage Discrimination For Foreign-Born Players in the NBA?

James Richard Hill and Peter A. Groothuis

The influx of international players into the NBA has led researchers to investigate whether either pay discrimination or a pay premium exists for these new entrants. Previous results have been mixed. Using similar techniques with a longer unbalanced panel dataset (1989–2013) that covers all the years of the previous studies, we test for the robustness of the results. We suggest that discrimination results are quite sensitive to the specifications and techniques used. We find that foreign wage premiums exist only for early foreign entrants and neither pay discrimination nor a wage premium exist for players at the end of our panel.

Open Access