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The gambler's fallacy and gender

  • Suetens, Sigrid
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

The “gambler's fallacy” is the false belief that a random event is less likely to occur if the event has occurred recently. Such beliefs are false if the onset of events is in fact independent of previous events. We study gender differences in the gambler's fallacy using data from the Danish state lottery. Our data set is unique in that we track individual players over time which allows us to investigate how men and women react with their number picking to outcomes of recent lotto drawings. We find evidence of gambler's fallacy for men but not for women. On average, men are about 1% less likely to bet on numbers drawn in the previous week than on numbers not drawn. Women do not react significantly to the previous week's drawing outcome.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 83 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 118-124

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:83:y:2012:i:1:p:118-124
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Jürgen Huber & Michael Kirchler & Thomas Stöckl, 2010. "The hot hand belief and the gambler’s fallacy in investment decisions under risk," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(4), pages 445-462, April.
  2. Jorgensen, C.B. & Suetens, S. & Tyran, J.R., 2011. "Predicting Lotto Numbers," Discussion Paper 2011-033, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Warneryd, Karl-Erik, 1996. "Risk attitudes and risky behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 749-770, December.
  4. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  5. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Forecasting Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Study Using Actual and Forecast Gamble Choices," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  6. Rachel Croson & James Sundali, 2005. "The Gambler’s Fallacy and the Hot Hand: Empirical Data from Casinos," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 195-209, May.
  7. repec:dgr:kubcen:2011033 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. James Sundali & Rachel Croson, 2006. "Biases in casino betting: The hot hand and the gambler's fallacy," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 1, pages 1-12, July.
  9. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  10. Alok Kumar, 2009. "Who Gambles in the Stock Market?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(4), pages 1889-1933, 08.
  11. Kearney, Melissa Schettini, 2005. "State lotteries and consumer behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2269-2299, December.
  12. Charness, Gary & Levin, Dan, 2003. "When Optimal Choices Feel Wrong: A Laboratory Study of Bayesian Updating, Complexity, and Affect," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7g63k28w, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  13. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Marklein, Felix & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Biased probability judgment: Evidence of incidence and relationship to economic outcomes from a representative sample," Munich Reprints in Economics 20042, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Terrell, Dek, 1994. "A Test of the Gambler's Fallacy: Evidence from Pari-mutuel Games," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 309-17, May.
  15. Farrell, Lisa & Walker, Ian, 1999. "The welfare effects of lotto: evidence from the UK," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 99-120, April.
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