DP9059 Prediction Markets for Economic Forecasting

Author(s): Erik Snowberg, Justin Wolfers, Eric Zitzewitz
Publication Date: July 2012
Keyword(s): forecasting, prediction markets
JEL(s): C5, G14
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9059

Prediction markets--markets used to forecast future events--have been used to accurately forecast the outcome of political contests, sporting events, and, occasionally, economic outcomes. This chapter summarizes the latest research on prediction markets in order to further their utilization by economic forecasters. We show that prediction markets have a number of attractive features: they quickly incorporate new information, are largely efficient, and impervious to manipulation. Moreover, markets generally exhibit lower statistical errors than professional forecasters and polls. Finally, we show how markets can be used to both uncover the economic model behind forecasts, as well as test existing economic models.