Monday, September 30, 2013

"How Bookies Pick the Literature Nobel, Without Actually Reading"

From the Atlantic Wire:
How exactly can author Haruki Murakami be the odds-on favorite to win the Nobel Prize in Literature if his book is only available in Japanese? For the most accurate Nobel oddsmaker Ladbrokes, reading the books is irrelevant — and the bookies openly made the prediction without any intentions to do so.

Given the Swedish Nobel Committee's intense secrecy, discussion of the future winner is active and open for debate among prognosticators. But they should just look to Ladbrokes, which has correctly predicted the Nobel Prize winner with 50 percent accuracy over the past eight years, according to the Boston Globe, making it far more accurate than most pundits or literary critics.

The secret to their success? Psychology. Most reporters writing on the coming Nobel decision are what one popular betting site's spokesman calls "lazy journalists," and they like to cite the bookies' odds — such as 3/1 favorite Haruki Murakami (right) — in their early stories on potential winners (guilty as charged). But by setting the early terms of the debate, Ladbrokes and other oddsmakers create a bandwagon-type effect where the bettors' favorite becomes the actual favorite. And this effect then builds its way up to the pundits and, potentially, to the Committee itself....MORE