A new GLO Discussion Paper finds that in the NBA professional basketball league in North America the performance of Black players improved significantly with the absence of fans vis-à-vis White players.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 1178, 2022
Inside the NBA Bubble: How Black Players Performed Better without Fans – Download PDF
by Caselli, Mauro & Falco, Paolo & Somekh, Babak
GLO Fellow Mauro Caselli
Author Abstract: In the NBA, predominantly Black players play in front of predominantly non-Black fans. Using the ‘NBA bubble’, a natural experiment induced by COVID-19, we show that the performance of Black players improved significantly with the absence of fans vis-à-vis White players. This is consistent with Black athletes being negatively affected by racist pressure from mostly non-Black audiences. We dispel several alternative hypotheses. Beyond hurting individual players, fans’ behavior causes significant economic damage to the NBA by lowering the quality of the game.
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Vol. 35, Issue 4, October 2022: Journal of Population Economics (JOPE): 15 articles https://link.springer.com/journal/148/volumes-and-issues/35-4
CiteScore of JOPE moves up from 3.9 (2020) to 6.5 (2021). LINK
Similar, its Impact Factor is now 4.7 (2021) after 2.8 (2020)! LINK
GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.
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