Noise, Information, and the Favorite-Longshot Bias
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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