A cheap ticket to the dance: Systematic bias in college basketball's ratings percentage index

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

A contest model is constructed to examine the existence of conference bias in college basketball's Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). Though a general RPI bias has been identified in previous literature, this is the first study to address whether the bias is random or systematic in nature. Within the theoretical model, the RPI is shown to be systematically biased against teams in high ability conferences, even when all teams play to expectation and can be transitively compared. Further, the bias can prevent the RPI from producing an ordinal mapping from revealed team ability level to the real number line. Given the longevity of the controversial RPI as the NCAA's primary measure of team ability, these results may indicate that the NCAA is serving a demand for team heterogeneity in selecting for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEconomics Bulletin
Volume4
Issue number34
StatePublished - Sep 12 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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