Conflicts of Interest Distort Public Evaluations: Evidence from the Top 25 Ballots of NCAA Football Coaches
This paper provides a study on conflicts of interest among college football coaches participating in the USA Today Coaches Poll of top 25 teams. The Poll provides a unique empirical setting that overcomes many of the challenges inherent in conflict of interest studies, because many agents are evaluating the same thing, private incentives to distort evaluations are clearly defined and measurable, and there exists an alternative source of computer rankings that is bias free. Using individual coach ballots between 2005 and 2010, we find that coaches distort their rankings to reflect their own team's reputation and financial interests. On average, coaches rank teams from their own athletic conference nearly a full position more favorably and boost their own team's ranking more than two full positions. Coaches also rank teams they defeated more favorably, thereby making their own team look better. When it comes to ranking teams contending for one of the high-profile Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, coaches favor those teams that generate higher financial payoffs for their own team. Reflecting the structure of payoff disbursements, coaches from non-BCS conferences band together, while those from BCS conferences more narrowly favor teams in their own conference. Among all coaches an additional payoff between $3.3 and $5 million induces a more favorable ranking of one position. Moreover, for each increase in a contending team's payoff equal to 10 percent of a coach's football budget, coaches respond with more favorable rankings of half a position, and this effect is more than twice as large when coaches rank teams outside the top 10.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- B. Jay Coleman & Andres Gallo & Paul M. Mason & Jeffrey W. Steagall, 2010. "Voter Bias in the Associated Press College Football Poll," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 11(4), pages 397-417, August.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011.
"Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering,"
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
- Cameron, A. Colin & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Miller, Douglas L., 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2006. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," NBER Technical Working Papers 0327, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonah B. Gelbach & Doug Miller, 2009. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," Working Papers 99, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller & Doug Miller, 2009. "Robust Inference with Multi-way Clustering," Working Papers 98, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
- Ashcraft, A. & Goldsmith-Pinkham, P. & Vickery, J., 2010. "MBS Ratings and the Mortgage Credit Boom," Discussion Paper 2010-89S, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Adam B. Ashcraft & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & James Vickery, 2010. "MBS ratings and the mortgage credit boom," Staff Reports 449, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Guillaume R. Fréchette & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Ünver, 2007. "Unraveling yields inefficient matchings: evidence from post-season college football bowls," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 967-982, December.
- Guillaume Frechette & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Ünver, 2004. "Unraveling Yields Inefficient Matchings: Evidence from Post- Season College Football Bowls," Microeconomics 0404001, EconWPA, revised 24 Sep 2004.
- FrÃ©chette, Guillaume & Unver, M. Utku & Roth, Alvin, 2007. "Unraveling Yields Inefficient Matchings: Evidence from Post-Season College Football Bowls," Scholarly Articles 2570385, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- J. Michael Dumond & Allen K. Lynch & Jennifer Platania, 2008. "An Economic Model of the College Football Recruiting Process," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 9(1), pages 67-87, February.
- Lalith Munasinghe & Brendan O'Flaherty & Stephan Danninger, 2001. "Globalization and the Rate of Technological Progress: What Track and Field Records Show," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1132-1149, October.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Sally E. Sadoff, 2011. "Checkmate: Exploring Backward Induction among Chess Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 975-990, April.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Sally E. Sadoff, 2009. "Checkmate: Exploring Backward Induction Among Chess Players," NBER Working Papers 15610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven Levitt & John List & Sally Sadoff, 2010. "Checkmate: Exploring backward induction among chess players," Artefactual Field Experiments 00081, The Field Experiments Website.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17628. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.