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Do bookmakers possess superior skills to bettors in predicting outcomes?

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  • Smith, Michael A.
  • Paton, David
  • Williams, Leighton Vaughan

Abstract

In this paper we test the hypothesis that bookmakers display superior skills to bettors in predicting the outcome of sporting events by using matched data from traditional bookmaking and person-to-person exchanges. Employing a conditional logistic regression model on horse racing data from the UK we find that, in high liquidity betting markets, betting exchange odds have more predictive value than the corresponding bookmaker odds. To control for potential spillovers between the two markets, we repeat the analysis for cases where prices diverge significantly. Once again, exchange odds yield more valuable information concerning race outcomes than the bookmaker equivalents.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:71:y:2009:i:2:p:539-549
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    Cited by:

    1. Król, Michał, 2012. "Product differentiation decisions under ambiguous consumer demand and pessimistic expectations," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 593-604.
    2. Choi, Darwin & Hui, Sam K., 2014. "The role of surprise: Understanding overreaction and underreaction to unanticipated events using in-play soccer betting market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PB), pages 614-629.
    3. repec:eee:intfor:v:34:y:2018:i:1:p:17-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Egon Franck & Erwin Verbeek & Stephan Nüesch, 2013. "Inter-market Arbitrage in Betting," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(318), pages 300-325, April.
    5. Kauffeldt, Florian & Wiesenfarth, Boris, 2014. "Confidence, Pessimism and their Impact on Product Differentiation in a Hotelling Model with Demand Location Uncertainty," Working Papers 0562, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    6. Flepp, Raphael & Nüesch, Stephan & Franck, Egon, 2017. "The liquidity advantage of the quote-driven market: Evidence from the betting industry," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 306-317.
    7. Egon Franck & Erwin Verbeek & Stephan Nuesch, 2009. "Inter- market Arbitrage in Sports Betting," NCER Working Paper Series 48, National Centre for Econometric Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Betting exchanges Market efficiency Prediction;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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