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This article uses data from the 1997-2022 seasons to investigate the role of bias in the distribution of playing time in the WNBA. We evaluate national origin, a fixed and objective measure, and improve upon past uses of subjective, perception-based measures of race by using a more objective measure of skin tone. More specifically, via a fixed-effect estimation of 2,949 WNBA player-year combinations we find no evidence that the national origin of either players or coaches is related to the provision of playing time. Similarly, skin tone of players or coaches (n=893), either alone or in combination with national origin, shows no robust significance. Evidence of national origin bias has previously been reported in professional men’s basketball leagues in the U.S., Spain, and China. The WNBA may be demographically similar to the NBA, but it is culturally different and we find no evidence of employer discrimination.



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