Betting markets in everything

by on January 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm in Education | Permalink

Bet on your own grades.  Here is how it began:

One
Sunday afternoon, Steven and I were sharing ideas, and I mentioned to
him that I had an exam the following day and that if I were to study I
was sure to get an A. But I was enjoying my Sunday afternoon, and I
made it clear to him that I had no intention of studying. That’s when,
in order to provide me with motivation, we made the following
agreement: If I got an A on the exam, he would give me $100, and if I
didn’t get an A, I would give him $20. We thought every student would
like this type of motivation, therefore, we established Ultrinsic
Motivator Inc.

I thank Max for the pointer.

brent January 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Just what we need, more reasons to make learning competitive.

I can think of a few fun and creative ways to game that system, if you know who the participants in the pool are.

Max January 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Yeah, the opportunities for gaming are there, but you’ve got to bet (hehe…) that they can take some measures to combat that, no?

allison January 12, 2009 at 6:24 pm

We did this in college all the time to create motivation, between peers, otherwise we couldn’t be bothered to do our work. We bet each other money, drinks, cigarettes, dates, etc. basically, the bet was that loser paid–and loser was defined as receiving the lower score, or finished less correct proofs (we were math majors), or read less pages. eventually, though, it backfired, because the competition wasn’t enough to create interest, and once you assumed you were the loser, you had even less reason to bother to study.

Jay January 12, 2009 at 6:59 pm

How can politicians profit from this? If they can not personally gain from this I would expect the feds to make this illegal (I predict using the interstate commerce clause).

alexko January 12, 2009 at 8:44 pm

1)moral hazard can arise so easily if teacher and student share the prize.
2) The market could disappear if only best students decide to bet. Asymetrical info… I wonder how long the company will survive.

Robert Olson January 12, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Sammy, gambling on March Madness and gambling on your grades are not direct substitutes. They are entirely different experiences, much in the same way that gambling in Vegas or Atlantic City is different from gambling on a river boat.

jon January 13, 2009 at 12:14 am

Sameer, please elaborate…..

Jay January 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Sameer’s right–it says on the website when you go to sign up. Which means I don’t qualify. Darn!

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