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Are betting markets efficient? Evidence from European Football Championships

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  • Alexis Direr

Abstract

This article investigates the degree of efficiency of the European Football online betting market by using odds quoted by 12 bookmakers on 21 European championships over 11 years. We show that systematically picking out odds inferior to a threshold delivers a rate of return of 4.45% if best odds are selected across bookmakers and 2.78% if mean odds are used. This amounts to backing overwhelmingly favourites whose probability of winning exceeds 90%. Our results only exploit information contained in odds, are robust to the use of real-time data and different sample periods and hold under risk neutrality and expected utility preferences for realistic degrees of risk aversion. Transaction costs reduce profitability but only for small stake bets.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexis Direr, 2013. "Are betting markets efficient? Evidence from European Football Championships," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 343-356, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:3:p:343-356
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2011.602010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dominic Cortis, 2015. "Expected Values And Variances In Bookmaker Payouts: A Theoretical Approach Towards Setting Limits On Odds," Journal of Prediction Markets, University of Buckingham Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-14.
    2. 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.
    3. Jinook Jeong & Jee Young Kim & Yoon Jae Ro, 2017. "On the Efficiency of Racetrack Betting Market: A New Test for the Favorite-Longshot Bias," Working papers 2017rwp-106, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.

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