Why Increasing WNBA Player Salaries is More Complex Than You Think

Why Increasing WNBA Player Salaries is More Complex Than You Think

April 1, 20191 min read

Hours before taking the court for Saturday's All-Star Game, WNBA players met for breakfast and a civics lesson at a downtown Minneapolis hotel. The Women's National Basketball Players Association was announcing a partnership with Rock The Vote.

The players listened to a presentation about what they could do to increase voter registration and the dangers of voter suppression. Serious topics before the fun of an exhibition game, but there was something else heavy on their minds.

Revenue sharing has been a big talking point, prompted in part by a story that gained traction last year written by David Berri, an economics professor who writes for Forbes. Berri took a shot at figuring out the WNBA's annual revenue, acknowledging that it was an estimation. Berri estimated that WNBA players were making about 22 percent of the league's revenue and contrasted that with the NBA sharing revenue 50-50 with its players.

Dr. Berri has spent the last two decades researching sports and economics, while publishing works on a variety of topics including the evaluation of players and coaches, competitive balance, the drafting of players, labor disputes, the NCAA, gender wage gap in professional basketball, and distribution of wealth and power.

He is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit his profile.


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  • David Berri
    David Berri Department Chair and Professor of Economics

    Specializing in evaluations of players and coaches in sports, gender issues in sports, and competitive balance in sports

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