Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Monica Das


This undergraduate economics thesis is meant to find statistically significant evidence for shirking behavior in Major League Baseball (MLB). Theory suggests that players shirk on effort when they have recently signed a long-term lucrative contract, since there is little incentive to compete when money is guaranteed to the player regardless of current performance. It is particularly important to understand the MLB labor market, since the firms giving out contracts not only have a copious amount of production information regarding their employees, but this data is widely available to the general public. This study will make use of modern sabermetric statistics in order to further open up the conversation regarding shirking with advanced statistics. It will also seek to control for other motivational forces at play, such as intrinsic motivation of the player based on their own self-confidence, as well as extrinsic motivation regarding the performance of the time in terms of win-loss record. Such motivational factors had not yet been discussed within the shirking conversation.

Included in

Economics Commons