The selection process of the most valuable player (MVP) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was recently questioned as to whether African-American players were treated unfairly based on their race. Using NBA voting data from the 1995-2005 seasons, we develop two empirical models in order to examine the role that a player’s race plays in the determination of this award. Our estimates imply that after controlling for player, team, and market characteristics, there is no statistically significant effect of race on the likelihood that a player will appear on an MVP ballot or on the number of votes he will receive.
Coleman, B. Jay; DuMond, J Michael; and Lynch, Allen K., "An Examination of NBA MVP Voting Behavior: Does Race Matter?" (2008). Management Faculty Publications. 3.