Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Jose Abito and Shane Jensen


This study assumes the tournament incentives inherent in the National Basketball Association (NBA) based on a study by Taylor and Trogdon (2002). Incentive to tank or lose intentionally, which is encouraged by the reverse-order and lottery-based draft system of the NBA, is examined and validated. A modified version of Taylor and Trogdon’s logistic regression model and the data from the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons are employed. My findings aligned closely with the results from the original study. They suggested that the teams eliminated from the playoffs responded to tournament incentives in a predictable manner whereas the confounding effects of incentives prevent the teams that had already clinched the playoffs to behave predictably. The addition of game outcome expectation data from sports betting as a dependent variable conveyed the idea that the incentive to tank is overestimated by the public and in calculation of betting odds.


Basketball, NBA, Draft, Tanking, Tournament Incentives

Included in

Business Commons



Date Posted: 13 November 2019


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