Market efficiency: An analysis of the internet betting exchange market

Frederik Grønbek Haahr

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Internet betting exchange is an emerging market where people can trade odds. The stock market has been the focal for many studies. This paper uses experience from the stock market together with behaviour finance theory to investigate the efficiency of the odds market. The effective market theory exists in different forms. The objective of this paper is to confirm or reject a weak-­‐form efficiency on the odds market. The goal is to locate circumstances where the odds differ from their fundamental value by using patterns in the odds development. That kind of study is called technical analysis. Behaviour finance theory operates with different concepts. Primary it clarifies how people behave in different circumstance and when they are likely to misjudge the likelihood of an event. That is the foundation for testing different hypothesis. The hypotheses are used to select specific odds that meet predefined criteria. In an efficient market a wager on all selected odds should provide zero yield. If there exist situations where this is not true, it is a violation of the weak form efficiency. Two factors are particular noteworthy in finding violations of market efficiency and used correctly, it is possible to generate a yield. The odds at the extreme, that is below 1.2 and above 10.5, differs significantly from the fundamental value. From a buyer’s perspective, the return on low odds is positive, while negative on the high odds. It is constable returns. The other factor is volume. Low volume indicates that the odds are too low, low volumes are matched wagers below 100. Buying the odds when the matched wager is low generates a negative return. At all levels above 100 the return from buying is positive. A large part of the transactions are carried out at a low volume. Giving all transactions in the sample, over 480,000 transactions, there is relatively strong evidence that buying generally generates a negative return. The returns generated by both factors are still valid giving transaction cost. Trends before kick-­‐off is third factor that gave some interesting results, even though it is not one where it was possible to determine a yield. A positive odds development in the time period before kick-­‐off is more likely on a losing player. This result can be used to better predict who is going to lose the game. There is found evidence that it is possible to generate a return on the odds market by examine historical data. This is only possible when the market violates the weak form of efficiency. The market is not efficient in a weak form.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Accounting, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages78