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Optimal Betting Odds against Insider Traders

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  • Shin, Hyun Song

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal pricing decision of a bookmaker facing a group of gamblers, some of whom have superior information to the bookmaker. The central result is that the normalized betting odds diverge systematically from the true possibilities of winning. Specifically, it is optimal for the bookmaker to follow a "square root rule" in which the ratio of posted prices is given by the square root of the ratio of winning probabilities. One consequence of this rule is that the betting odds understate the winning chances of the favorites and exaggerate the winning chances of the longshots. This is precisely the bias observed in several empirical investigations of betting markets. Copyright 1991 by Royal Economic Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 101 (1991)
Issue (Month): 408 (September)
Pages: 1179-85

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:101:y:1991:i:408:p:1179-85

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Cited by:
  1. Michael A. Smith & David Paton & Leighton Vaughan-Williams, 2004. "Costs, biases and betting markets: new evidence," Working Papers 2004/5, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division.
  2. Smith, Michael A. & Paton, David & Williams, Leighton Vaughan, 2009. "Do bookmakers possess superior skills to bettors in predicting outcomes?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 539-549, August.
  3. Martin Kukuk & Stefan Winter, 2008. "An Alternative Explanation of the Favorite-Longshot Bias," Journal of Gambling Business and Economics, University of Buckingham Press, vol. 2(2), pages 79-96, September.
  4. Parimal Kanti Bag & Bibhas Saha, 2010. "Betting in the Shadow of Match-Fixing," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 011, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  5. Johnson, J.E.V. & Peel, D. & Peirson, J., 2010. "Systematic and varying biases in parallel state contingent gambling markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 82-84, November.
  6. Smith, Michael A. & Vaughan Williams, Leighton, 2010. "Forecasting horse race outcomes: New evidence on odds bias in UK betting markets," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 543-550, July.
  7. Adi Schnytzer & Martien Lamers & Vasiliki Makropoulou, 2009. "The Impact of Insider Trading on Forecasting in a Bookmakers' Horse Betting Market," Working Papers 2009-11, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  8. Stefan Winter & Martin Kukuk, 2008. "Do horses like vodka and sponging? - On market manipulation and the favourite-longshot bias," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 75-87.
  9. A. Schnytzer & V. Makropoulou & M. Lamers, 2012. "Pricing Decisions and Insider Trading in Horse Betting Markets," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/772, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  10. Russell Sobel & S. Travis Raines, 2003. "An examination of the empirical derivatives of the favourite-longshot bias in racetrack betting," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 371-385.
  11. Stephen Morris, 1997. "Risk, uncertainty and hidden information," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 235-269, May.
  12. Jullien, Bruno & Salanié, Bernard, 2005. "Empirical Evidence on the Preferences of Racetrack Bettors," IDEI Working Papers 178, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  13. John Peirson, 2008. "Expert Analysis and Insider Information in Horse Race Betting: Regulating Informed Market Behaviour," Studies in Economics 0819, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  14. Bruce, Alistair C. & Johnson, Johnnie E.V., 2005. "Market ecology and decision behaviour in state-contingent claims markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 199-217, February.
  15. Williams, Leighton Vaughan & Paton, David, 1997. "Why Is There a Favourite-Longshot Bias in British Racetrack Betting Markets?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 150-58, January.
  16. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2009. "Surprised by the Parimutuel Odds?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2129-34, December.
  17. McAlvanah, Patrick & Moul, Charles C., 2013. "The house doesn’t always win: Evidence of anchoring among Australian bookies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 87-99.

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