The Effect of the Designated Hitter Rule on Hit Batsmen: Pitcher's Moral Hazard or the Team's Cost-Benefit Calculation?: A Comment
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Goff, Shughart and Tollison  attribute the American League's higher hit-batsman rate since 1973 to moral hazard: pitchers who no longer bat no longer face retaliation. We argue that retaliation is more efficiently directed at sluggers than at weak-hitting pitcher, and show that American League Designated Hitters (DH's) are plunked more frequently than are National League pitchers. We also offer a new estimating equation and update GST's sample. We show that the DH's effect on hit batsmen is no longer statistically significant. However, the point estimates are close to our prediction, which does not rely on moral hazard.
Economic Inquiry v. 36, no. 4 (October 1998): 679-84.