Column Notes Iowa Electronic Markets

A column on prediction markets notes that the first computerized political market was created at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. "That market outperformed polls three-quarters of the time, and its election-eve forecasts were better than any pundit's and better than any poll," said James Surowiecki, author of "The Wisdom of Crowds." That Iowa prediction market begged for special permission from the government and got a waiver that limits bets to $500. "That makes them less accurate," Surowiecki said. "Real money is what makes it work." The World is a daily newspaper based in Oregon.