Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Money Isn't Everything (Congressional House Race Edition)

Last week, David Brat defeated the House Majority Leader in a primary. And Brat only had just about $200,000 and two paid staffers to do it. I was absolutely shocked the primary turned out this way.

While there is some good academic research showing that neither incumbent wealth nor incumbent spending have large effects on electoral outcomes, and large war chests do not deter quality candidates from competing, it's nice to have a vivid, recent example showing that money isn't everything.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How to Pick 'Em

March Madness may be over, but the FIFA World Cup is just beginning, providing yet another chance to start up an office pool!

To put it politely, the US is not favored to win. Regardless, in your office pool, should you bet on the US winning it all, for love of country? You're going to be rooting for them in every game, right?

Go ahead and root. But, don't bet on the US. It gives you a better chance of winning the pool and partially hedges against the possibility of future patriotic disappointment.

Unless, of course, one of the reasons you watch sports is for the vicarious thrill of victory and agony of defeat. Then, by all means, amplify those feelings by betting on your home team.