A simple hedonic pricing model is developed for baseball cards, of the type often used successfully to model prices for artworks. The model is estimated for a dataset of twelve well-known players observed at eight points in time over a span of twenty years. Dummy variables are used to capture various relevant characteristics of the player or card. This model was estimated separately for two different approaches or assumptions about rates of return. Estimates perform extremely well, explaining most differences among baseball card prices for the cards in the sample. Among extrinsic variables that represent specific players and card characteristics that differentiate cards issued during the same season, race had a significant positive effect on price for black players. Batting average and number of World Series appearances had significant positive impacts on price, but surprisingly, rookie cards tended to be worth relatively less than non-rookie cards. Similarly unexpected findings with respect to players' death and elevation to the Hall of Fame may result from trying to estimate too many characteristics simultaneously on a limited dataset. Results suggest famous players' cards generally are extremely attractive investment instruments.
Mulligan, Robert F.; Grube, A. J.; and Jarrell, Stephen B.
"Baseball Card Pricing Model: A Demonstration with Well-known Players,"
Visions in Leisure and Business: Vol. 21:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/visions/vol21/iss1/6