Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Race, Ethnicity, and Baseball Card Prices: A Replication, Correction, and Extension of Hewitt, Muñoz, Oliver, and Regoli

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Using a sample of all-time great baseball players, we investigate the effects of career performance, card quality and availability, and player race and ethnicity on baseball card prices. We estimate various specifications of the card price equations used by Hewitt, Muñoz, Oliver, and Regoli (2005). We discover numerous discrepancies between the data reported in their article and their cited data sources. We replicate their results using their reported data and verify that their finding of no effect of race on card prices holds after corrections of data errors. Using their parsimonious metric of player performance, our extensions show that neither race nor Hispanic ethnicity has a significant effect on card prices and that our results are robust to alternative price and card availability measures. We also improve the ability of the Hewitt et al. model to explain card prices when we use price and availability data that are more precisely matched to categories of card quality. This paper is accompanied by a supplement that provides a thorough guide to our statistical analyses.

Response to this article by Robert Muñoz, Jr.: Beyond Race Cards in America’s Pastime: An Appreciative Reply to Findlay and Santos (EJW, May 2012).