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Lawrence Hadley and Elizabeth Gustafson

Earnings equations are estimated for major league baseball hitters and pitchers using salary data for the 1989 season. The results indicate that final-offer salary arbitration and long-term contracts have a large positive impact on salaries. The impact of free-agency eligibility is also positive, but smaller man arbitration eligibility. This implies that some players have used the arbitration process to extract above-market salaries. Therefore it is concluded that it would be in the interest of the owners to replace arbitration with earlier eligibility for free agency.