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A Test of the Gambler's Fallacy: Evidence from Pari-mutuel Games

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  • Terrell, Dek

Abstract

The "gambler's fallacy" is the belief that the probability of an event is decreased when the event has occurred recently, even though the probability is objectively known to be independent across trials. Clotfelter and Cook (1991, 1993) find evidence of the gambler's fallacy in analysis of data from the Maryland lottery's "Pick 3" numbers game. In the Maryland lottery, the payout to all numbers is equal at $250 on a winning fifty-cent bet, so the gambler's fallacy betting strategy costs bettors nothing. This article looks at the importance of the gambler's fallacy in the New Jersey lottery's three-digit numbers game, a pari-mutual game where a lower amount of total wagering on a number increases the payout to that number. Results indicate that the gambler's fallacy exists among bettors in New Jersey, although to a lesser extent than among those in Maryland. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • 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 309-317, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:8:y:1994:i:3:p:309-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Rabin & Dimitri Vayanos, 2010. "The Gambler's and Hot-Hand Fallacies: Theory and Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 730-778.
    2. Daniel L. Chen & Tobias J. Moskowitz & Kelly Shue, 2016. "Decision Making Under the Gambler’s Fallacy: Evidence from Asylum Judges, Loan Officers, and Baseball Umpires," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1181-1242.
    3. Frédéric Koessler & Charles Noussair & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2007. "Information Aggregation and Beliefs in Experimental Parimutuel Betting Markets," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-12, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    4. Suetens, Sigrid & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "The gambler's fallacy and gender," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 118-124.
    5. Joshua B. Miller & Adam Sanjurjo, 2014. "A Cold Shower for the Hot Hand Fallacy," Working Papers 518, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Tong V. Wang & Rogier J. D. Potter van Loon & Martijn J. van den Assem & Dennie van Dolder, 2016. "Number preferences in lotteries," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(3), pages 243-259, May.
    7. Daniel J. Benjamin & Don A. Moore & Matthew Rabin, 2017. "Biased Beliefs About Random Samples: Evidence from Two Integrated Experiments," NBER Working Papers 23927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Marklein, Felix & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Biased probability judgment: Evidence of incidence and relationship to economic outcomes from a representative sample," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 903-915, December.
    9. Tatyana Deryugina, 2013. "How do people update? The effects of local weather fluctuations on beliefs about global warming," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 118(2), pages 397-416, May.
    10. Lien, Jaimie W. & Yuan, Jia, 2015. "The cross-sectional “Gambler's Fallacy”: Set representativeness in lottery number choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 163-172.
    11. Sigrid Suetens & Claus B. Galbo-Jørgensen & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2016. "Predicting Lotto Numbers: A Natural Experiment On The Gambler'S Fallacy And The Hot-Hand Fallacy," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 584-607, June.
    12. Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling," NBER Working Papers 11234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Kaivanto, Kim & Kroll, Eike B., 2012. "Negative recency, randomization device choice, and reduction of compound lotteries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 263-267.
    14. Chen, Daniel L. & Moskowitz, Tobias J. & Shue, Kelly, 2016. "Decision-Making Under the Gambler’s Fallacy: Evidence From Asylum Courts, Loan Officers, and Baseball Umpires," IAST Working Papers 16-43, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    15. Kim Kaivanto & Eike Kroll, 2014. "Alternation bias and reduction in St. Petersburg gambles," Working Papers 65600286, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    16. Yuan, Jia & Sun, Guang-Zhen & Siu, Ricardo, 2014. "The lure of illusory luck: How much are people willing to pay for random shocks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 269-280.
    17. Frederic Koessler & Ch. Noussair & A. Ziegelmeyer, 2005. "Individual Behavior and Beliefs in Experimental Parimutuel Betting Markets," THEMA Working Papers 2005-08, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    18. Elena Asparouhova & Michael Hertzel & Michael Lemmon, 2009. "Inference from Streaks in Random Outcomes: Experimental Evidence on Beliefs in Regime Shifting and the Law of Small Numbers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(11), pages 1766-1782, November.
    19. Koessler, Frédéric & Noussair, Charles & Ziegelmeyer, Anthony, 2012. "Information aggregation and belief elicitation in experimental parimutuel betting markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 195-208.
    20. Andrey Kudryavtsev & Gil Cohen & Shlomit Hon-Snir, 2013. "“Rational” or “Intuitive”: Are Behavioral Biases Correlated Across Stock Market Investors?," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 7(2), June.
    21. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Marklein Felix & Sunde Uwe, 2008. "Biased Probability Judgment: Representative Evidence for Pervasiveness and Economic Outcomes," ROA Research Memorandum 008, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    22. repec:prg:jnlefa:v:2017:y:2017:i:4:id:202:p:83-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Jonathan Guryan & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Lucky Stores, Gambling, and Addiction: Empirical Evidence from State Lottery Sales," NBER Working Papers 11287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Colin Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "In Honor of Matthew Rabin: Winner of the John Bates Clark Medal," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 159-176, Summer.

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