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Noise, Information and the Favorite-Longshot Bias


  • Marco Ottaviani
  • Peter Sorenson


According to the favorite-longshot bias, longshots are overbet relative to favorites. We propose an explanation for this bias (and its reverse) based on an equilibrium model of informed betting in parimutuel markets. The bias arises because bettors take positions without knowing the positions simultaneously taken by other privately informed bettors. The direction and the extent of the bias depend on the amount of private information relative to noise present in the market. With realistic ex-post noise and ex-ante asymmetries, our model replicates the main qualitative features of expected returns observed in horse races.
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  • Marco Ottaviani & Peter Sorenson, 2005. "Noise, Information and the Favorite-Longshot Bias," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 784828000000000397,
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:najeco:784828000000000397

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Asker & Estelle Cantillon, 2004. "Equilibrium in Scoring Auctions," Working Papers 2004.148, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Standard Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-21.
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    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations


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