Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Plugging the New Pittsburgh Stock Exchange

Just another plug to get people to participate in the New Pittsburgh Stock Exchange. What is that you ask? I have set up on Inkling Markets a number of prediction markets for some upcoming local events of note. In particular some of the upcoming political races, including mayor and city controller. I just added a couple of city council races: District 7 (Bodack/Dowd) and District 3 (Koch/Kraus). For the moment I am not going to add the other city council races. Not because they are less important, but there just isn't much use of any of these markets as yet. I think these races with more than two candidates may get too distorted to be useful. At least that is my theory, but am willing to reconsider if there is more interest.

One added benefit of the Inkling Markets site is that is provides an embedded discussion board for each market. I know there are a lot of better established political blogs out there, but I am not sure there is one persistent discussion board dedicated to each race where anyone can post comments. It could be useful focal point for dialogue in itself.

How does this work. It's all play money, but anyone can register and bet, I mean invest, on a particular candidate or any other contract in the entire Inking Markets universe. there are a lot of other markets out there. So it's all for fun and mostly a test. Predictive markets are having more and more uses out there, it would be interesting if these markets come close to the final election returns.

Are there other uses. Absolutely. The first market I set up, quickly overtaken by events, was a question over whether the Penguins would leave town. Also running is a market on When will a casino open in the City of Pittsburgh? But Mike Madison (aka Mr. Pittsblog) and I have tried to think of some other more relevant markets. What is important to local economic development or business community? The problem is that for these types of market, there must be some clearly specified end-state and its hard to figure out a question that works. It has to have a end date and and a clearly understood result. So something like "Will there be a Billion dollar IPO by a local company in 2007?" could be one example. But if anyone has an idea of what Pittsburgh-related question could be asked in this type of prediction market let me know.

You can find all of these markets via the inkling markets web page, but I have set up a page that consolidates all the markets I have set up:


Blogger Matthew said...

Like you mentioned about the Penguins leaving town, the markets seem to be quickly overtaken by events.

For instance, the Democratic Party nomination for mayor of Pittsburgh seems to be a no-brainer as Bill Peduto has withdrawn from contention. Yet, he's still at $29.73 instead of dropping to $0.00

Is this a case of there not being enough players in the market to make use of the information on hand?

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