Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

B25, L83, N12

Key Words

Baseball, Group-regarding, Instincts, Self-regarding, Thorstein Veblen


This inquiry seeks to establish that, Thorstein Veblen’s understanding of instincts can be used to offer insights into to the game of baseball. Veblen’s view of instincts serves as a way for understanding different behaviors exhibited by those involved in the game. Behaviors can be broadly categorized into “selfregarding” and “group-regarding”. Applying Veblen’s understanding of instincts to baseball offers a novel perspective on actions taken and behaviors displayed by those participating in, as well as those who stand behind the game. Some human actions appear to be for the betterment of the game, and these actions align with Veblen’s understanding of group-regarding instincts. Other actions appear to be undertaken for the betterment and advancement of individuals, and such actions better align with what are categorized as self-regarding instincts.


© Brian Burres

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