FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Political Futures Markets Show Promise

An article in Slate takes note of two political futures markets that had a far more accurate read of the election than did many phone and exit polls. In such systems, participants "invest" in candidates based on their viability; some systems yield a payout if the candidate wins.

The Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM) and Irish-based TradeSports both forecast a Bush victory, and the vote split in IEM was very close to the real thing. The credibility of polls -- especially exit polls -- took a real beating this time around, and some believe that futures trading systems will be a more accurate alternative.