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Surprised by the Parimutuel Odds?

Author

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  • Marco Ottaviani
  • Peter Norman Sørensen

Abstract

Empirical analyses of parimutuel betting markets have documented that market probabilities of favorites (longshots) tend to underestimate (overestimate) the corresponding empirical probabilities. We argue that this favorite-longshot bias is consistent with bettors taking simultaneous positions on the basis of private information about the likelihood of different outcomes. The ex post realization of a high market probability indicates favorable information about the occurrence of an outcome -- and the opposite is true for longshots. This explanation for the bias relies on the bettors' inability to incorporate the surprise revealed by the final odds. (JEL D81, D82, L83)

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2009. "Surprised by the Parimutuel Odds?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2129-2134, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:2129-34
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.2129
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ali, Mukhtar M, 1977. "Probability and Utility Estimates for Racetrack Bettors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(4), pages 803-815, August.
    2. Asch, Peter & Malkiel, Burton G. & Quandt, Richard E., 1982. "Racetrack betting and informed behavior," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-194, July.
    3. Thaler, Richard H & Ziemba, William T, 1988. "Parimutuel Betting Markets: Racetracks and Lotteries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 161-174, Spring.
    4. Hurley, William & McDonough, Lawrence, 1995. "A Note on the Hayek Hypothesis and the Favorite-Longshot Bias in Parimutuel Betting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 949-955, September.
    5. Shin, Hyun Song, 1991. "Optimal Betting Odds against Insider Traders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1179-1185, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Filiz-Ozbay, Emel & Guryan, Jonathan & Hyndman, Kyle & Kearney, Melissa & Ozbay, Erkut Y., 2015. "Do lottery payments induce savings behavior? Evidence from the lab," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 1-24.
    2. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2015. "Price Reaction to Information with Heterogeneous Beliefs and Wealth Effects: Underreaction, Momentum, and Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 1-34, January.
    3. Siemroth, Christoph, 2014. "Why prediction markets work : The role of information acquisition and endogenous weighting," Working Papers 14-02, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    4. Feess, Eberhard & Müller, Helge & Schumacher, Christoph, 2016. "Estimating risk preferences of bettors with different bet sizes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 1102-1112.
    5. Leighton Vaughan Williams & Ming‐Chien Sung & Peter A. F. Fraser‐Mackenzie & John Peirson & Johnnie E. V. Johnson, 2018. "Towards an Understanding of the Origins of the Favourite–Longshot Bias: Evidence from Online Poker Markets, a Real‐money Natural Laboratory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 85(338), pages 360-382, April.
    6. Charles Moul & Joseph Keller, 2014. "Time to Unbridle U.S. Thoroughbred Racetracks? Lessons from Australian Bookies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(3), pages 211-239, May.
    7. Lionel Page & Robert T. Clemen, 2013. "Do Prediction Markets Produce Well‐Calibrated Probability Forecasts?-super-," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(568), pages 491-513, May.
    8. Lambert, Nicolas S. & Langford, John & Wortman Vaughan, Jennifer & Chen, Yiling & Reeves, Daniel M. & Shoham, Yoav & Pennock, David M., 2015. "An axiomatic characterization of wagering mechanisms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 389-416.
    9. Suhonen, Niko & Saastamoinen, Jani & Kainulainen, Tuomo & Forrest, David, 2018. "Is timing everything in horse betting? Bet amount, timing and bettors’ returns in pari-mutuel wagering markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 97-99.
    10. Juan Vidal-Puga, 2017. "On the effect of taxation in the online sports betting market," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 145-175, June.
    11. Joachim R. Groeger, 2016. "The Informational Content of the Limit Order Book: An Empirical Study of Prediction Markets," Papers 1609.03471, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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