Betting markets in everything

Think you're going to ace freshman year? Want to put money on that?

A website called Ultrinsic is taking wagers on grades from students at 36 colleges nationwide starting this month.

Just as Las Vegas sports books set odds on football games, Ultrinsic will pay you top dollar for A's, a little less for the more likely outcome of a B average or better, and so on. You can also wager you'll fail a class by buying what Ultrinsic calls "grade insurance."

CEO Steven Wolf insists this is not online gambling, which is technically illegal in the United States, because wagers with Ultrinsic involve skill.

Student users claim it motivates them to work harder.  Here is the full story, here is another.  Here is an Andrew Gelman post.

How do they avoid adverse selection?  Is it that they lure failing fools, who think that money will make such a difference?

For the pointer I thank Max Levine, a loyal MR reader.


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