Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?
AbstractThe favorite-longshot bias describes the longstanding empirical regularity that betting odds provide biased estimates of the probability of a horse winning—longshots are overbet, while favorites are underbet. Neoclassical explanations of this phenomenon focus on rational gamblers who overbet longshots due to risk-love. The competing behavioral explanations emphasize the role of misperceptions of probabilities. We provide novel empirical tests that can discriminate between these competing theories by assessing whether the models that explain gamblers’ choices in one part of their choice set (betting to win) can also rationalize decisions over a wider choice set, including compound bets in the exacta, quinella or trifecta pools. Using a new, large-scale dataset ideally suited to implement these tests we find evidence in favor of the view that misperceptions of probability drive the favorite-longshot bias, as suggested by Prospect Theory.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7801.
Date of creation: May 2010
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- Erik Snowberg & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Long Shot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 723-746, 08.
- Erik Snowberg & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3029, CESifo Group Munich.
- Erik Snowberg & Justin Wolfers, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," NBER Working Papers 15923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Snowberg, Erik & Wolfers, Justin, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," IZA Discussion Papers 4884, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D49 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Other
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
- L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
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