The economists speak once again

by on June 11, 2014 at 4:07 am in Sports, Uncategorized | Permalink

What would we do without the economists?:

Brazil will beat Germany to win soccer’s World Cup and also will score the most goals, according to a survey of economists across 52 countries.

The tournament’s host nation eclipsed Germany and Argentina as the top choice among 171 economists from 139 companies in a Bloomberg News poll published today. The Latin American country is also tipped to find the net the most times, topping Argentina and Spain.

Projections of a sixth World Cup victory for Brazil mesh with bookmaker odds and forecasts based on economic models created by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UniCredit SpA and Danske Bank A/S. Paddy Power Plc and Ladbrokes Plc both rank Brazil as favorite, at odds of 3/1.

There is more here.  Even better would have been a survey of the economist bloggers.  In any case, here is a related survey from The Upshot.

Ray Lopez June 11, 2014 at 4:58 am

What would we do without magicians? Economists also depend on trickery and illusion to keep their status. Most of them predict next quarter’s crystal ball based on last quarter’s number, akin to driving while looking into a rear view mirror, but that’s not a bad strategy as most of the time a road will continue along it’s past trend (cross-roads are not that common, statistically).

Nick June 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

This is about as useful as asking the judge’s panel on The Voice what their opinions are of Middle Eastern geopolitics.

zbicyclist June 11, 2014 at 9:50 am

I will offer to bet $10 against any economist who wants to say it will be Brazil over Germany in the final. (i.e. I win if there is any other outcome.)

Ray Lopez June 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

Ah, zbicyclist took a page out of the Oracle of Omaha’s playbook, W. Buffett, who I think did something similar this year. Most probable does not mean likely.

DK June 11, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Brazil’s chances are not above 50%. Betting against Brazil is already a smart bet. Betting against Brazil AND Germany is a sure bet. At even odds, I’d offer $100 without hesitation to at least 10 people (1K is how much in total I am willing to bet).

dearieme June 11, 2014 at 5:25 am

The smart money is on the dark horse.

dearieme June 11, 2014 at 7:01 am

That’s the word on the street, anyway.

Steve Sailer June 11, 2014 at 5:39 am

I’ve been predicting Brazil to win every World Cup since 1970, mostly because I don’t know anything about soccer. I seldom turn out to be right, but the important thing is that nobody ever laughs at my prediction when I make it.

Ted Craig June 11, 2014 at 6:20 am

And here’s the case for Germany (or at least a European team):
http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-european-team-will-be-the-winner-at-the-2014-world-cup-1401740590

John Mansfield June 11, 2014 at 8:37 am

It calls to mind a movie with Bob Newhart trying to sell a computer to the army, and the generals were mostly interested in whether the computer could pick football winners. I don’t remember how the movie turned out.

Doug June 11, 2014 at 8:39 am

No one ever gets fired for picking Brazil.

Z June 11, 2014 at 8:48 am

I have Brazil beating Germany in my pool. Since rigging the outcomes is the the way the beautiful game is played, I’m betting on Brazil – Germany in the final being in the best interest of the money-men who run soccer.

Klemens June 11, 2014 at 9:40 am

Why is Germany in the final in the best interest of the money-men who run soccer? Do you mean the FIFA brass if you are talking about the money-men? Genuinely curious.

Ray Lopez June 11, 2014 at 11:25 am

@Klemens – Largest market share by fan interest (German league is the most profitable I’ve read; Brazilians most populous). Italians are corrupt too, as are the Greeks, etc etc, not that I watch soccer. But US sports are not far behind, as many statistical studies show a best of series goes to the last game more often than expected, to increase income. Same in baseball with the umpires shrinking the strike zone to let a team catch up. It likely is not a conscious decision by the umpires but they know intuitively it is in the best interests of the game.

Mark Thorson June 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I would guess the real money men would be interested in the most betting action, so you’d want a big gambling country like China or Japan in the mix.

Klemens June 12, 2014 at 2:51 am

Ray, thanks for the answer. I am still confused who you think will try to rig the outcome. FIFA is very different from the national federations (and indeed there is some conflict at the moment, especially with the big European federations) who are again very different from the national (professional) leagues. So not sure what league profitability has to do with who FIFA wants in the final.

For gambling, it doesn’t really matter who wins, right? Just that the result (or some actions like yellow cards) is predictably influenced.

If anything, FIFA should try to get the huge non-soccer-crazy nations (China, India, USA) to be successful to generate additional demand.

Neal June 11, 2014 at 8:54 am

If only there were functioning prediction markets …

Rob Rawlings June 11, 2014 at 10:24 am

Lets see if economists are better at predicting World Cup winners that major global recessions.

Thor June 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Spain, France, Italy. They’re the teams that realistically win World Cup tournaments.

Going back to 1966, when England won on home soil, those are the countries that have won.

Holland has lost three finals, and has never won. No European team has ever won in a tournament held in the Americas.

Rob Rawlings June 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

France has only ever won on home soil too.

RR June 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Its interesting but for a long time an European team never won playing in the Americas , nor a South American team playing in Europe. In the past few tournaments this unusual occurrence changed.

Thor June 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm

The Guardian’s sportswriters’ predictions about the World Cup are as good as any. And better than most.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/jun/11/world-cup-2014-guardian-writers-predictions

Michael June 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm

What would we do without economists?
We would assume them.

Mark June 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Soccer is gay.

Nate June 11, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Yeah you’re right, it is pretty fun sport to play.

Robbie Lamon June 30, 2014 at 4:05 am

Guys on forums say there is no working roulette system, you
can’t beat it in the long run, but i’m using bluehand roulette system for weeks and it earns
me decent money everyday, maybe couple of weeks is not a long run, maybe i’m lucky

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