RE: Comments on elections

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Wed Nov 08 2000 - 06:45:48 MST

I wrote:
> You might want to revise your views in light of *data* we have on
> how previous markets have done. They have consistently done better
> than opinion polls and do not show a bias toward conservative candidates.
> See:

Harvey Newstrom responded:
>No offense, but I reviewed the data. At first glance, it did not seem to be
>that predictive, and all the races I reviewed showed a clear Republican
>bias. ...
>Do you have any specific data comparing this market with opinion polls? Do
>you have any specific data comparing this market with the actual outcomes?
>My quick glanced seemed to find that it failed on both counts.

The URL I gave includes this cite:
Forsythe, R., F. Nelson, GR. Neumann and J. Wright (1992) "Anatomy of an
Experimental Political Stock Market." American Economic Review, 82:1142-1161.
and now temporarily at
This describes in detail the market during the 1988 presidential election.
Traders were indeed more republican than average, but consistently estimated
a lower share for the republican than opinion polls were suggesting.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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