Which Team Will Win the 2014 FIFA World Cup? A Bayesian Approach for Dummies

31 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2014  

Andres Ramirez Hassan

Universidad EAFIT - School of Economics and Finance - Center for Research in Economic & Finance (CIEF)

Johnatan Jimenez

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)

Date Written: February 14, 2014

Abstract

This paper presents several "ex ante" simulation exercises of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Specifically, we estimate the probabilities of each national team advancing to different stages, using a basic Bayesian approach based on conjugate families. In particular, we use the Categorical-Dirichlet model in the first round and the Bernoulli-Beta model in the following stages. The novelty of our framework is given by the use of betting odds to elicit the hyperparameters of prior distributions. Additionally, we obtain the posterior distributions with the Highest Density Intervals of the probability to being champion for each team. We find that Brazil (19.95%), Germany (14.68%), Argentina (12.05%), and Spain (6.2%) have the highest probabilities of being champion. Finally, we identify some betting opportunities with our simulation exercises. In particular, Bosnia & Herzegovina is a promising, whereas Australia shows the lowest betting opportunities return.

Keywords: Bayesian Approach, Conjugate Families, Simulation, World Cup.

JEL Classification: C11, C15, C53

Suggested Citation

Ramirez Hassan, Andres and Jimenez, Johnatan, Which Team Will Win the 2014 FIFA World Cup? A Bayesian Approach for Dummies (February 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2396259 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2396259

Andres Ramirez Hassan (Contact Author)

Universidad EAFIT - School of Economics and Finance - Center for Research in Economic & Finance (CIEF) ( email )

Carrera 49 No. 7 South - 50
Bogotá
Colombia
05742619500 (Phone)

Johnatan Jimenez

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) ( email )

Av; Pasteur, 250
terreo - Bairro Maracana
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 23890000
Brazil

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