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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4884.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Political Economy, 2010, 118 (4), 723-746
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Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- Snowberg, Erik & Wolfers, Justin, 2010. "Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7801, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- D49 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Other
- G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing
- L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Recreation; Tourism
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-05-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-05-02 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-UPT-2010-05-02 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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