Explaining the Favorite-Longshot Bias: Is it Risk-Love or Misperceptions?
The favorite-longshot bias describes the longstanding empirical regularity that betting odds provide biased estimates of the probability of a horse winning – longshots are overbet, while favorites are underbet. Neoclassical explanations of this phenomenon focus on rational gamblers who overbet longshots due to risk-love. The competing behavioral explanations emphasize the role of misperceptions of probabilities. We provide novel empirical tests that can discriminate between these competing theories by assessing whether the models that explain gamblers' choices in one part of their choice set (betting to win) can also rationalize decisions over a wider choice set, including compound bets in the exacta, quinella or trifecta pools. Using a new, large-scale dataset ideally suited to implement these tests we find evidence in favor of the view that misperceptions of probability drive the favorite-longshot bias, as suggested by Prospect Theory.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2010|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published in: Journal of Political Economy, 2010, 118 (4), 723-746|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dolbear, F Trenery, Jr, 1993. "Is Racetrack Betting on Exactas Efficient?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(237), pages 105-11, February.
- Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanie, 2000.
"Estimating Preferences under Risk: The Case of Racetrack Bettors,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 503-530, June.
- Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié, 1997. "Estimating Preferences under Risk : The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Working Papers 97-39, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Drazen Prelec, 1998. "The Probability Weighting Function," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 497-528, May.
- Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Why are gambling markets organised so differently from financial markets?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 223-246, 04.
- Busche, Kelly & Hall, Christopher D, 1988. "An Exception to the Risk Preference Anomaly," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(3), pages 337-46, July.
- Uzi Segal, 1989.
"Two-Stage Lotteries Without the Reduction Axiom,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
552, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Camerer, Colin F & Ho, Teck-Hua, 1994. "Violations of the Betweenness Axiom and Nonlinearity in Probability," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 167-96, March.
- Richard N. Rosett, 1965. "Gambling and Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 595.
- Cleveland, William S. & Devlin, Susan J. & Grosse, Eric, 1988. "Regression by local fitting : Methods, properties, and computational algorithms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 87-114, January.
- Asch, Peter & Malkiel, Burton G. & Quandt, Richard E., 1982. "Racetrack betting and informed behavior," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-194, July.
- Quandt, Richard E, 1986. "Betting and Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 201-07, February.
- Gabriel, Paul E & Marsden, James R, 1990. "An Examination of Market Efficiency in British Racetrack Betting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 874-85, August.
- Asch, Peter & Quandt, Richard E, 1987. "Efficiency and Profitability in Exotic Bets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(215), pages 289-98, August.
- Manski, Charles F., 2006.
"Interpreting the predictions of prediction markets,"
Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 425-429, June.
- Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Interpreting the Predictions of Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 10359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sorensen, 2010. "Noise, Information, and the Favorite-Longshot Bias in Parimutuel Predictions," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 58-85, February.
- Ali, Mukhtar M, 1977. "Probability and Utility Estimates for Racetrack Bettors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(4), pages 803-15, August.
- Williams, Leighton Vaughan & Paton, David, 1997. "Why Is There a Favourite-Longshot Bias in British Racetrack Betting Markets?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 150-58, January.
- Conlisk, John, 1993. " The Utility of Gambling," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 255-75, June.
- Weitzman, Martin L., 1965. "Utility Analysis and Group Behavior: An Empirical Study," Scholarly Articles 3710799, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Raymond D. Sauer, 1998. "The Economics of Wagering Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2021-2064, December.
- Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
- Joseph Golec & Maurry Tamarkin, 1998. "Bettors Love Skewness, Not Risk, at the Horse Track," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 205-225, February.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4884. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.