Bryan Caplan  

My Complete Bet Inventory: 2016 Edition

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With the kind volunteer assistance of Dan Osborne, here is an updated list of all my EconLog bets.  All omissions are my fault; if you catch any, please email me.  Here goes:

1. "I've bet my $200 to Walter's $1 that Ron Paul will not be the next U.S. president." (here) Date (bet made and/or publicized): 07/11/07.  Status: closed, Caplan won.

2. "If France, Germany, and Italy remain on the Euro as of December 31, 2010, Rabkin owes me $20.  Otherwise, I owe him $20." (here) Date: 01/22/07.  Status: closed, Caplan won.

3. "If the Director of the OMB's 2013 report says that a shortfall exists [in the repayment of TARP], I win.  Otherwise, I lose.  The stakes: I will make up to five $100 bets at even odds." (here)  Date: 10/07/08. Status: closed, Caplan won.

4. "If the official initially reported U.S. monthly unemployment rate falls below 8.0% for any month between now and June, 2015, I win $100.  Otherwise, Mish wins $100." (here)  Date: 03/21/10. Status: closed, Caplan won.

5. "At any point between now and January 2016, if there is a year/year increase in seasonally adjusted CPI that is at least 10%, then you [Bryan Caplan] pay me at that time $100.  If we get to January 2016, and there has not been any 12-month stretch in which the above happened, then I [Bob Murphy] pay you $100 at that time." (here) Date: 12/14/09. Status: closed, Caplan won.

6. "I predict that Republicans will regain control of at least one branch of the federal government at some point between now and January 20, 2017 (two inaugurations from now).  So Arnold, how about a $100 bet at even odds? [bet accepted]" (here) Date: 05/19/09. Status: closed, Caplan won.

7. "I will bet $100, even odds, that the U.S. price of gas (including taxes) in the first week of January, 2018 will be $3.00 or less in 2008 dollars." (here) Date: 01/01/08.  Status: open.

8. "If the total number of deaths in France from riots and terrorism is less than 500 between May 28, 2008 and May 28, 2018, Franck owes me $50.  If the total number is 500 or more, I owe him $50." (here) Date: 05/28/08. Status: open.

9. "The stake is $US100 and the agreed criterion is that, for Bryan to win, the average Eurostat harmonised unemployment rate for the EU-15 over the period 2009-2018 inclusive should exceed that for the US by at least 1.5 percentage points." (here) Date: 05/28/09. Status: open.

10. "If any current EU member with a population over 10 million people in 2007 [Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Poland, Romania, Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Hungary] officially withdraws from the EU before January 1, 2020, I will pay you $100.  Otherwise, you owe me $100." (here) Date: 04/26/08. Status: open.

11. "I bet at even odds that 10 years from now, the fraction of American 18-24 year-olds enrolled in traditional four-year colleges will be no more than 10% (not 10 percentage-points!) lower than it is today." (here) Date: 10/24/2011. Status: open.

12. "If India's (Total Fertility Rate in 2032 + Total Fertility Rate in 2033)/2<2.0, John owes me $200. If India's (Total Fertility Rate in 2032 + Total Fertility Rate in 2033)/2 ?2.0, I owe John $100. We've agreed to use the average of the World Bank and United Nations estimates of TFR." (here) Date: 08/30/2012. Status: open.

13. "If the 12 month change of the CPI-U as reported by the BLS is greater than 5% for any sliding window between today and December 2015 in monthly increments, I pay Arthur $100.  Otherwise, he pays me $3." (here) Date: 05/17/2013. Status: closed, Caplan won.

 14. "10:1 that U.S. unemployment will never fall below 5% during the next twenty years.  If the rate falls below 5% before September 1, 2033, he immediately owes me $10.  Otherwise, I owe him $1 on September 1, 2033." (here) Date: 09/24/2013. Status: closed, Caplan won.

15. Yoram Bauman offered me the following terms: "You're betting avg(2015-2029)-avg(2000-2014)<=0.05C, yes? If so I accept!" at $333.33 to your $1000. (here) 06/10/2014. Status: open.

16. "$100 says that less than 300 people will die of Ebola within the fifty United States by January 1, 2018." (here) 10/20/14. Status: open.

17. "If, by June 1, 2017, the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, or Washington Post assert that one million of more additional illegal immigrants have actually received permission to legally work in the United States as a result of Obama's executive action since November, 2014, I owe Nathaniel Bechhofer $20.  Otherwise he owes me $20." (here) 11/18/14. Status: open.

18. "You pay me $x today.  If any European country that was not Communist in 1988 has a civil war leading to 10,000 or more fatalities between today and December 31, 2045, I will immediately pay you $11x." (initial terms here, final terms here) 09/24/2015. Status: open.  

19. Tim Kane offered me the following terms: "I will wager that Trump drops out before Jeb. Any takers?" for $20. (here) Date: 10/29/2015. Status: closed, Caplan won.

20. "$200 on whether or not America will have a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative real GDP growth, in the next two years. Q4 of 2017 being the end of the period. But if that quarter happens to be negative, then we can look to the next one to see if we were or were not in the middle of a recession." (here)  Date: 12/30/2015. Status: open.

21. "Steve Pearlstein bets $50 at even odds that Ted Cruz wins the Republican nomination.  I bet against." (here) Date: 12/2/2016. Status: open.

22. "Nathaniel Bechhofer bets $40 at 2:1 that Hillary Clinton wins the 2016 presidential election.  I bet against." (here) Date: 12/2/2016. Status: open.

Running tally: 9 wins, 0 losses, 13 pending.

COMMENTS (13 to date)
NL7 writes:

Impressive win record.

I'm going to go out on a limb and bet $100 to $1 that bets 21 and 22 were not contracted in December 2016, over 7 months in the future from the date of this post. If I'm wrong, that's a cheap price to find out time travel exists.

Most of the pending bets look solid. French one maybe less so than the others.

Daniel Bier writes:

Too late to get in on that Clinton bet?

Andrew_FL writes:

Is the bet on 17 off if the next president abrogates Obama's executive order?

I think you're gonna win most of these bets, but maintaining your perfect winning streak so far is probably highly unlikely.

In order for you to win 22 at this point, realistically, you'll need to either lose 21, or the GOP will have to nominate someone who isn't Trump, and yet won't anger so many voters in doing so as to make their convention White Knight an electoral disaster. So tentatively I'd say this is your weakest bet, above. 15 is also probably a very risky bet, but harder to say for sure I think.

David Condon writes:

The French bet looks safe. There has been one terrorist attack that killed 130, and another that killed 20, and a few smaller incidents, but that's it; no where close to 500, and only a couple of years remain. Thank you, Wikipedia.

Yaakov writes:

The link in 19 seems to be incorrect.

Phil writes:

"3. "If the Director of the OMB's 2013 report says that a shortfall exists [in the repayment of TARP], I win. Otherwise, I lose. The stakes: I will make up to five $100 bets at even odds." (here) Date: 10/07/08. Status: closed, Caplan won."

Did you get people to take you up on that bet?

if no one takes you up on a bet, is it a bet you 'won'?

Phil writes:

Also worth wondering if W-L record is the best thing to optimize for


too high FG% in basketball means you're passing up makeable shots and costing yourself expected points


by all means, you're allowed whatever risk preference you want

but bettors and investors don't measure their success by win %, they measure it by return on capital

Kevin Dick writes:

@Phil. I presume he's optimizing for drawing attention to situations where people are too confident in their beliefs. In that case, W-L record would seem to be a reasonable metric.

Due to differences in wealth of the various bettors and limitation on Bryan's bankroll, return on capital may have issues as a measuring stick.

Ryan writes:
18. "You pay me $x today. ... (initial terms here, final terms here) 09/24/2015. Status: open.

There is no link for "final terms here".

Scott Sumner writes:

No wonder I never bet you--we have pretty similar views. I do think Clinton will win, but the 2/1 odds seem fair.

I'd be more inclined to bet you on the existence of free will, objective truth, personal identity, natural rights, (no to all of them) etc. But then how would we determine the winner?

Brad Hobbs writes:

I saw the betting sheet for Caplan's Winning Wagers at Bally's in Las Vegas. What higher validation can be expected?

Hans writes:

I offered to take wager number
ten, however, you declined and had
the thread removed, Mr Caplon.

[I don't see any comment of yours that was removed in which you offered to take wager 10, Hans. Are you talking about your comment from a few days ago at Bryan's post at Updated Bet Inventory Bleg? That comment and the thread have obviously not been removed. It was not even trapped by the spam filter. Feel free to email me if you submitted a comment that was removed. As you know, if comments are removed from EconLog, we post placeholder notices and we email the commenter. There are no comments in that thread that have been removed; and I have no records in email of trying to contact you about a comment about any bet you, Hans, ever offered to take with Bryan Caplan. --Econlib Ed.]

Hans writes:

Yes, you are correct, that the only post
in the "Updated Bet Inventory Bleg" was
mine in which I stated the following:

"Dear Mr Caplan:

Regarding your "Updated Bet Inventory Bleg"
I would be more than pleased to fill in #10
by pre-paying you with a personal check.

I must say, it was very brave of you to extent
the time period twelve years forward.

If you accept, I shall alter my will in the
expectation of an additional revenue stream."

The thread was no longer posted under "What is
New" column. (main page upper right)

I do thank you for your reassurance that neither
were deleted.

Sorry for being a pain.

[You might want to consider using our Archive page in the future. --Econlib Ed.]

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