The National Hockey League and Salary Determination:Are NHL player's salaries discriminated against based on country of origin?

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Todd Steen, Hope College

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Since the earliest research was conducted on professional sports leagues and their respective labor demands and supply factors, much emphasis has been given to the study of discrimination and its effect on equilibrium salaries. Within the NHL in particular, since the publication of player earnings beginning in 1990, much research has been conducted regarding discrimination based on country of origin and whether it is a factor and, if so, where is it being sourced? But while the only discrimination that has been found regards French-Canadian defensemen, little research has been conducted since the NHL lockout in 2004-2005 to provide further evidence to support this claim or whether this notion of bias should be rejected. Yet upon utilizing regression analysis within a new model with variables utilized in previous research, coupled with new data post lockout period, I have found evidence that continues to support the notion of discrimination within the National Hockey League but with a different group of players. With the addition of more explanatory variables coupled with various testing of the sources of such discrimination, this research lays the foundation for a plethora of opportunity for additional research and explanation within the parameters of NHL discrimination and salary determination.

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