The Gambler’s Fallacy and Gender

CentER Discussion Paper No. 2011-011

21 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2011

See all articles by Sigrid Suetens

Sigrid Suetens

University of Antwerp - Faculty of Applied Economics; Tilburg University

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna; University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: January 25, 2011


The “gambler’s fallacy” is the false belief that a random event is less likely to occur if the event has occurred recently. Such beliefs are false if the onset of events is in fact independent of previous events. We study gender differences in the gambler’s fallacy using data from the Danish state lottery. Our data set is unique in that we track individual players over time which allows us to investigate how men and women react with their number picking to outcomes of recent lotto drawings. We find evidence of gambler’s fallacy for men but not for women. On average, men are about 1% less likely to bet on numbers drawn in the previous week than on numbers not drawn. Women do not react significantly to the previous week’s drawing outcome.

Keywords: Lottery Gambling, Gender, Gambler's Fallacy

JEL Classification: D03, D81, D84, J16

Suggested Citation

Suetens, Sigrid and Tyran, Jean-Robert, The Gambler’s Fallacy and Gender (January 25, 2011). CentER Discussion Paper No. 2011-011, Available at SSRN: or

Sigrid Suetens (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp - Faculty of Applied Economics ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, B-2000
+32 3 220 40 38 (Phone)

Tilburg University

Postbus 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE

Jean-Robert Tyran

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, Vienna 1090


University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
+45 353 23 027 (Phone)


Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics