Do Teams Always Lose to Win? Performance Incentives and the Player Draft in the Australian Football League

(2009) Journal of Sports Economics, 10(5), 451-484.

Posted: 7 May 2016

See all articles by Jeff Borland

Jeff Borland

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Mark Chicu

Bates White

Robert D. Macdonald

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This article examines whether the player draft used since 1986 in the Australian Football League has caused clubs to tank; that is, to seek to lose matches to obtain improved draft choices. A comparison of clubs’ performances in regular season matches played before and after introduction of the draft provides no evidence that clubs have engaged in tanking. The main potential explanations for the absence of tanking in the Australian Football League are the relatively low benefits to clubs from tanking and limited opportunities for them to engage in this behavior.

Keywords: player draft, incentives, Australian Football League

JEL Classification: L83

Suggested Citation

Borland, Jeff and Chicu, Mark and Macdonald, Robert D., Do Teams Always Lose to Win? Performance Incentives and the Player Draft in the Australian Football League (2009). (2009) Journal of Sports Economics, 10(5), 451-484.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2775924

Jeff Borland

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria 3010, 3010
Australia

Mark Chicu

Bates White ( email )

1300 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Robert D. Macdonald (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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