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Corruption on the Court: The Causes and Social Consequences of Point-Shaving in NCAA Basketball

Listed author(s):
  • Chang Yang-Ming

    ()

    (Kansas State University)

  • Sanders Shane D.

    ()

    (Nicholls State University)

This paper is concerned with the economic incentives of crime among agents within a private organization. Specifically, we present a contest model of a college basketball game to identify the winners, losers, and social welfare consequences of point-shaving corruption in mens NCAA basketball as an example of participation in illicit activities. It is shown that, under reasonable conditions, such activities lower the level of social welfare derived from college basketball play by reducing aggregate efforts in a game and distorting relative efforts across teams. We then examine the economic incentives of a player to point-shave and discuss player-types that are at a relatively high risk of engaging in point-shaving corruption. Private and public mechanisms to minimize corruption are compared in terms of efficiency, and a differential honesty premium is derived and discussed as an efficient way for the NCAA to decrease the incidence of player corruption.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 269-291

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:5:y:2009:i:1:n:12
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  1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
  2. Yang-Ming Chang & Joel Potter & Shane Sanders, 2007. "The Fate Of Disputed Territories: An Economic Analysis," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 183-200.
  3. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas, 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 44(6), pages 793-807, December.
  4. Herschel Grossman, 2004. "Peace and War in Territorial Disputes," Working Papers 2004-07, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  5. Yang-Ming Chang & Shane Sanders, 2009. "Raising The Cost Of Rebellion: The Role Of Third-Party Intervention In Intrastate Conflict," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 149-169.
  6. Garfinkel, M.R. & Skaperdas, S., 2000. "Conflict without Misperceptions or Incomplete Information: how the Future Matters," Papers 99-00-11, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  7. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
  8. J. Atsu Amegashie & Edward Kutsoati, 2005. "Rematches in Boxing and Other Sporting Events," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 6(4), pages 401-411, November.
  9. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
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