01 June 2011

The Boudreaux Bet

Don Boudreaux and I are narrowing in on the terms of our bet.  Here is the email I just sent to him in response to his acceptance of the terms that I had offered:

Many thanks ... and just to be clear from my end.

1. The over/under for the bet is 4,022 deaths due to tornadoes, hurricanes and floods in the United States between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2030.
2, If that number is not reached by January 1, 2031, I lose.
3. If that number is reached before January 1, 2031, you lose.
4. The dataset used is the official NWS loss record kept here:
5. If I win you will make a donation to the American Red Cross
6. If you win I will make a donation to an economics program of your choice.
7. Also, if I win you'll write an op-ed explaining the bet and why you lost (and of course, I am willing to do the same)

The only issue left to settle is the amount of the wager.  I see from your blog that you want to put an upper limit, which of course makes good sense.  I also recognize that you may wish to rope in a few others on this bet ;-)  Let me know how you'd like to proceed, I am happy to leave the amount bet open for a bit if that would be of any use, just let me know.

I am very glad that you have offered this opportunity as it means that some money (eventually) will go to some worthwhile causes and to the extent that it raises awareness of the risks of extreme events for loss of human life, there will be no losers here. For my part, I certainly hope that the numbers turn out in your favor.

I'll post this up on my blog as a record, and will revisit the issue (probably at most) yearly.  Perhaps we might even write something jointly along the way.

Finally, nice to meet you and I look forward to the collaboration.

All best,