Berg: IEM Investors Not a Random Sample

A story about prediction markets notes that the first political prediction market, the Iowa Electronic Markets, was started by a group of professors at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA's business school. Joyce Berg, an accounting professor and IEM director, says that the people trading are nothing like a random sample of voters. "In 1988, everyone was from Iowa, and we only had 155 people in the voteshare market. Even now, when we have thousands of people in each market, we are not distributed among states by population. Our traders are overwhelmingly male. They have more education than the average voter. They have a higher income than the average voter. But the market mechanism is one where we don't need a random sample of voters, we need people with information."

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