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Race and the evaluation of signal callers in the national football league

Research output: Working paper



Until recently, the position of quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) was not an option for black athletes. Today many teams employ black quarterbacks, a development that might suggest race is no longer relevant when it comes to the evaluation of signal callers in the NFL. To examine this contention, this paper explores the relationship between player salary, performance, and race at the quarterback position over the period 1995 to 2006. We find that blacks and whites play this position differently. Specifically, black quarterbacks are more likely to run with the football. This skill, though, is not compensated in the market. Consequently, there is evidence that blacks face an uncompensated entry barrier in this particular occupation.