Wage disparities and their consequences have long been a topic of economic research. While most papers focus on describing the development of wage differentials over time and seek to identify the reasons for the observed patterns, few attempts have been made to analyze the influence of pay inequality on economic outcomes. A unique and rather large data set from the North American team sports industry is used to address the question how wage disparities affect the performance of professional teams. First, changes in intra‐ and inter‐team wage inequality are documented. Second, the impact of wage inequality on team performance is directly analyzed. Overall, the results differ to a considerable degree between the four major leagues, suggesting that the relative importance of high‐powered incentives and cooperation is different in football and hockey from basketball and baseball.
Frick, B., Prinz, J. and Winkelmann, K. (2003), "Pay inequalities and team performance: Empirical evidence from the North American major leagues", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 472-488. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437720310485942
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