Going With Your Gut: The (In)accuracy of Forecast Revisions in a Football Score Prediction Game

25 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2018 Last revised: 12 Feb 2019

See all articles by Carl Singleton

Carl Singleton

Department of Economics, University of Reading

J. James Reade

University of Reading, Department of Economics

Alasdair Brown

University of East Anglia (UEA)

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

We study individuals who each chose to predict the outcome of fixed events in an online competition, namely all football matches during the 2017/18 season of the English Premier League. We ask whether any forecast revisions the individuals chose to make (or not), before the matches began, improved their likelihood of predicting correct scorelines and results. Against what theory might expect, we show how revisions tended towards significantly worse forecasting performance, suggesting that individuals should have stuck with their initial judgements, or their `gut instincts'. This result is robust to both differences in the average forecasting ability of individuals and the predictability of matches. We find evidence that this is because revisions to the forecast number of goals scored in football matches are generally excessive, especially when these forecasts were increased rather than decreased.

Keywords: Judgement revision, Prediction making, Forecasting behaviour, Expectations

JEL Classification: C53, C23, D84, Z2

Suggested Citation

Singleton, Carl and Reade, J. James and Brown, Alasdair, Going With Your Gut: The (In)accuracy of Forecast Revisions in a Football Score Prediction Game (February 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3260428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3260428

Carl Singleton (Contact Author)

Department of Economics, University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

J. James Reade

University of Reading, Department of Economics ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Alasdair Brown

University of East Anglia (UEA) ( email )

Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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