Interracial Workplace Cooperation: Evidence From The NBA

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Executive Summary

Using data from the National Basketball Association (NBA), the authors examine whether patterns of workplace cooperation occur disproportionately among workers of the same race. They find that, holding constant the composition of teammates on the floor, basketball players are no more likely to complete an assist to a player of the same race than a player of a different race. The confidence interval allows rejecting even small amounts of same-race bias in passing patterns. Their findings suggest that high levels of interracial cooperation can occur in a setting where workers are operating in a highly visible setting with strong incentives to behave efficiently.

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