Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Joshua Rosett

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© 2016 Lucas M. Owan


Some teams in the National Basketball Association experienced revenue declines during the Great Recession. Previous literature has found that teams in larger markets are able to generate more revenue due to higher populations. The recession left small-market teams suffering financially. I analyze a player based on his performance and examine if market size and recessions appreciate or depreciate a player’s salary. Further, I investigate if the competitive imbalance between big-market and small-market teams expanded due to the recession. My results suggest recessions do not have an impact on player salary, however player salary decreased by a small margin in post-recession years. The 2008 Great Recession did not enhance the competitive imbalance among teams. The NBA did an effective job accounting for decreasing team revenues during the recession and confirming all teams could spend amounts at or near the salary cap.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.