Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Taxes And Athletic Performance: Why NBA Players Perform Better In Low-Tax States

Michael Conklin (Angelo State) & Jordan Daniel (Angelo State), Taxes and Athletic Performance: Why NBA Players Perform Better in Low-Tax States:

Game locations can make a significant difference on a player’s after-tax earnings. And under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, this disparity has increased. Extensive research exists regarding state tax rates and professional athletes. These studies conclusively show that athletes consider state tax rates when considering which team to join; that teams in high-tax states are therefore at a disadvantage in acquiring talent; and that because of this disadvantage, these high-tax teams underperform when compared to teams in low- and no-tax states. However, no study has been conducted to measure how the various different state tax rates experienced by professional athletes in their away games affect athletic performance. This first-of-its kind study fills this gap in the research by finding that NBA players averaged significantly higher free-throw percentages in away games at no-tax states compared to high-tax states.

This finding provides empirical support for numerous topics that were previously discussed only theoretically. This invites future research into areas such as the far-reaching implications of tax policy, significance of sports psychologists, the importance of addressing mental states in athletes external to their past athletic performance, and the importance of team cohesion. Furthermore, the effects of mental states are likely applicable to the corporate world as well. Therefore, this study invites future research into how mental states in general and state tax rates specifically might affect workplace performance, including collegiality, risk adverseness, discriminatory behaviors, and ethical corporate conduct. These issues are of increased importance in modern corporate America, where the ability of workers to telecommute is rapidly increasing.

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