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Expected utility, skewness, and the baseball betting market

Author

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  • Bill Woodland
  • Linda Woodland

Abstract

A subjective expected utility model is developed to explain the gambling behaviour of bettors on Major League Baseball games in the United States. Betting activity was examined over 15 seasons, for the period 1978 - 1992. The observed overbetting of favourite teams by baseball bettors can be reconciled without abandoning the traditional assumption of risk aversion. Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that positive skewness has a discernible influence in the decision-making process for higher odds contests.

Suggested Citation

  • Bill Woodland & Linda Woodland, 1999. "Expected utility, skewness, and the baseball betting market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 337-345.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:31:y:1999:i:3:p:337-345
    DOI: 10.1080/000368499324327
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard E. Quandt, 1986. "Betting and Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 201-207.
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    8. Francis, Jack Clark, 1975. "Skewness and Investors' Decisions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 163-172, March.
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    10. Bailey, Martin J & Olson, Mancur & Wonnacott, Paul, 1980. "The Marginal Utility of Income Does not Increase: Borrowing, Lending, and Friedman-Savage Gambles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 372-379, June.
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    1. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9486-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Stekler, H.O. & Sendor, David & Verlander, Richard, 2010. "Issues in sports forecasting," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 606-621, July.
      • Herman O. Stekler & David Sendor & Richard Verlander, 2009. "Issues in Sports Forecasting," Working Papers 2009-002, The George Washington University, Department of Economics, Research Program on Forecasting.
    3. Gunnarsson, Sara & Shogren, Jason F. & Cherry, Todd L., 2003. "Are preferences for skewness fixed or fungible?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 113-121, July.
    4. Per Binde, 2005. "Gambling Across Cultures: Mapping Worldwide Occurrence and Learning from Ethnographic Comparison," International Gambling Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, June.
    5. Scott Tainsky & Jason Winfree, 2010. "Short-Run Demand and Uncertainty of Outcome in Major League Baseball," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 37(3), pages 197-214, November.
    6. Jennifer Brown & Dylan B. Minor, 2011. "Selecting the Best? Spillover and Shadows in Elimination Tournaments," NBER Working Papers 17639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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