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Can asset markets be manipulated? A field experiment with racetrack betting

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  • Colin Camerer

Abstract

To test whether naturally occurring markets can be strategically manipulated, $500 and $1,000 bets were made, then cancelled, at horse racing tracks. The net effects of these costless temporary bets give clues about how market participants react to information large bets might contain. The bets moved odds on horses visibly (compared to matched-pair control horses with similar prebet odds) and had a slight tendency to draw money toward the horse that was temporarily bet, but the net effect was close to zero and statistically insignificant. The results suggest that some bettors inferred information from bets and others did not, and their actions roughtly cancelled out.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Camerer, 1998. "Can asset markets be manipulated? A field experiment with racetrack betting," Natural Field Experiments 00222, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00222
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    Cited by:

    1. Rajkamal Iyer & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Kelly Shue, 2016. "Screening Peers Softly: Inferring the Quality of Small Borrowers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(6), pages 1554-1577, June.
    2. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2015. "Do Natural Field Experiments Afford Researchers More or Less Control than Laboratory Experiments? A Simple Model," NBER Working Papers 20877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Snowberg, Erik & Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2013. "Prediction Markets for Economic Forecasting," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    4. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortaçsu, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
    5. Deck, Cary & Lin, Shengle & Porter, David, 2013. "Affecting policy by manipulating prediction markets: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 48-62.
    6. Veiga, Helena & Vorsatz, Marc, 2008. "Aggregation and dissemination of information in experimental asset markets in the presence of a manipulator," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws084110, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    7. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    8. Zonna, Davide, 2016. "Sprechi di cibo e tentativi di riduzione. Un caso sperimentale
      [Avoiding food waste. A field experiment]
      ," MPRA Paper 76097, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Medrano, Luis Angel & Vives, Xavier, 2001. "Strategic Behavior and Price Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 221-248.
    10. Paul Rhode & Koleman Strumpf, 2006. "Manipulating political stock markets: A field experiment and a century of observational data," Natural Field Experiments 00325, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. Paul J. Healy & Sera Linardi & J. Richard Lowery & John O. Ledyard, 2010. "Prediction Markets: Alternative Mechanisms for Complex Environments with Few Traders," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(11), pages 1977-1996, November.
    12. Eaves, James & Williams, Jeffrey & Power, Gabriel J., 2016. "Do traders strategically time their pledges during real-world Walrasian auctions?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 109-118.
    13. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Prediction Markets in Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 12083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Legge, Stefan & Schmid, Lukas, 2016. "Media attention and betting markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 304-333.
    15. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John List, 2015. "Control in Experiments: A Simple Model," Artefactual Field Experiments 00397, The Field Experiments Website.
    16. Paul W. Rhode & Koleman S. Strumpf, 2004. "Historical Presidential Betting Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 127-141, Spring.

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