Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Monica Das

Keywords

Team chemistry, winning percentage, major league baseball, salary disparity

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between team chemistry and winning percentage in Major League Baseball. Team chemistry or cohesion, is an unobservable property that is applied to multiple group settings that can have a positive or negative effect on productivity. I have identified several group faultlines that have deterred team chemistry, specifically the formation of subgroups based on birth location, salary and years of experience. In addition, I analyze team salary disparity as another measure of team chemistry based on the team cohesion hypothesis. (Levine 1991) For the empirical analysis, I analyzed all 30 MLB teams during the 2010-2015 seasons to examine the relationship between different measures of team chemistry and winning percentage. The results suggest that there is a negative relationship between the percent of international players on a roster and winning percentage. The same conclusion is consistent with the effect of intra-team salary disparity measured as the coefficient of variation and winning percentage. Finally, there is a positive relationship between years of experience and winning percentage.

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