Archive for April 24th, 2011

One of mankind’s most intriguing questions is how to predict future outcomes. Regarding the plethora of efforts by dubious fortunetellers and their ongoing failures, the most promising approach seems to be the utilization of markets. Intrade offers exactly this service. What they do is basically the same as many other companies (e.g. bwin) offer for sports events. Intrade provides both real money (Intrade.com) and play money (Intrade.net) prediction market trading. Individuals can take positions (i.e. trade so-called contracts) on whether future events will or will not occur. The underlying idea of this website is to use the wisdom of crowds.

We can take Intrade’s share prices to reckon for instance the winner of the 2012 US presidential election:

Barack Obama  58.3 percent
Mitt Romney  12.5 percent
Donald Trump  4.8 percent
Tim Pawlenty  6.0 percent
Mitch Daniels  3.2 percent
Mike Huckabee  3.7 percent
Ron Paul  2.1percent

So, in all probability Obama will serve a 2nd term. Regarding potential Republican challengers, Mitt Romney (24%), Tim Palenty (16%), Mitch Daniels (8.5), Mike Huckabee (8.4%), and Donald Trump (7.5%) are the most promising bets.

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