UTILIZING QUARTERBACK PRODUCTIVITY METRICS TO ANALYZE RACIAL SALARY DISCRIMINATION AND DRAFT POTENTIAL IN THE NFL

Open Access
Author:
Rowe, Austin Eric
Area of Honors:
Economics
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jadrian James Wooten, Thesis Supervisor
  • Russell Paul Chuderewicz, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Productivity
  • Race
  • Discrimination
  • Salary
  • NFL
  • Sports Economics
  • NFL Draft
Abstract:
Professional sports leagues are interesting labor markets to study because performance and worker characteristics can be easily observed. Productivity is an important variable that distinguishes workers from one another, and allows for heterogeneity in output. This paper focuses on measuring the productivity of quarterbacks in the National Football league, framing quarterbacks as workers, whose outputs are the wins and points they produce. A productivity metric is calculated for every quarterback from 2006 to 2017 to test two different hypotheses. The first looks at measuring potential salary discrimination, and the second tests to see if future quarterback productivity can be predicted by looking at where a quarterback was taken in the draft and which college they attended. The Wins Produced metric developed by Berri & Schmidt (2010) limits the effect that the rest of the team’s performance has on the quarterback’s productivity. This paper expands the literature on player productivity by using the most recent NFL data available.