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Racial Inequality in a Public Arena: The Case of Professional Baseball

Robert M. Jiobu
Social Forces
Vol. 67, No. 2 (Dec., 1988), pp. 524-534
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2579194
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2579194
Page Count: 11
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Abstract

This research examines racial inequality within the labor market of professional baseball. For several sociological reasons, baseball should be characterized by racial equality, yet at the same time, equally good reasons exist to suspect that the racial situation is far from ideal. Data drawn from published sources for the years 1971 through 1985 were investigated with the technique of survival analysis. The results showed that performance was the most powerful determinant of a player's career mortality. For Hispanics, their race had no effect on career mortality but for blacks, race decreased the length of their playing careers. It was suggested that results could be interpreted as the outcome of an "invisible ceiling" or quota imposed on the proportion of black players.

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