Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 449–459

An Inquiry into the Pay Structure of the New York Yankees: 1919–1941


  • Kenneth H Brown
    • University of Northern Iowa
  • Paul E Gabriel
    • Loyola University Chicago
  • David G Surdam
    • University of Northern Iowa

DOI: 10.1057/eej.2011.23

Cite this article as:
Brown, K., Gabriel, P. & Surdam, D. Eastern Econ J (2012) 38: 449. doi:10.1057/eej.2011.23


This paper explores salaries for New York Yankees players during the early 20th century. Thanks to the recent availability of a unique data set, we are able to construct detailed earnings profiles using individual player salaries. Human capital wage estimates suggest that the Yankees’ owners rewarded players on the basis of their contributions to team productivity. Although apparently exploiting their monopsony power, the Yankees’ management set salaries on a systematic, productivity-related, basis. Because of the panel nature of the data, we use fixed-effects regression instead of Ordinary Least Squares regression estimation.


New York Yankeeshuman capitalmonopsonyearnings

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© Eastern Economic Association 2012