A Bet I'd Hate to Win, A Bet Bryan Would Love to Lose
I’ve been influenced by Julian Simon, Robin Hanson, and our own Bryan Caplan when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is, and I’ve come to agree with Alex Tabarrok that “A Bet is a Tax on Bull****.” There’s been an interesting Twittersphere conversation among Tyler Cowen, Alex Tabarrok, Bryan Caplan, Robin Hanson, and others on how informative bets are. Charlie Clarke asked:
Thinking the same thing. Why don't pro-betting people bet more? http://t.co/W7fHkUBiuw @tylercowen @ATabarrok @bryan_caplan @robinhanson
— Charlie Clarke (@wagonomics) July 3, 2013
.@wagonomics @tylercowen @ATabarrok @robinhanson Because getting wrong people to bet is like pulling teeth!!!
— Bryan Caplan (@bryan_caplan) July 4, 2013
@bryan_caplan @wagonomics @tylercowen @ATabarrok @robinhanson care to bet on whether there will be a betting norm in 10 yrs?
— Art Carden (@artcarden) July 4, 2013
I’d want to take the “yes, there will be a betting culture” side of the bet, and I’d want odds. It’s a bet I know Bryan would love to lose and a bet I’d hate to win, but this raises an interesting question of definition: what would a betting norm among public intellectuals, bloggers, pundits, and scholars look like (a necessary condition before we agree on the bet, obviously)? Another interesting question: what are the institutional barriers to such a norm?
Jul 4 2013 at 12:57pm
Anti-market bias: If people are making money by placing bets, it must be bad for society.
Betting won’t become popular.
Jul 4 2013 at 3:02pm
Are you familiar with http://longbets.org/ ?
Jul 4 2013 at 4:48pm
Another interesting question: what are the institutional barriers to such a norm?
Compliance costs; betters will be academic intellectuals. Getting these people to agree on the meaning of plain words (e.g., “marriage”) and then to admit that they were mistaken will cost more than anyone would reasonably bet.
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