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IEM Origin Explained

Run by the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business, the Iowa Electronic Market has correctly picked the winner of three out of the past four presidential elections. Three professors, GEORGE NEUMANN, ROBERT FORSYTHE AND FORREST NELSON, came up with the idea for a presidential futures market in March 1988 after polls failed to predict Jesse Jackson winning the Michigan democratic primary. They were in a bar across the street from the business school having beers and watching TV. "Dukakis was widely seen as the leader; it was a shock to see Jesse Jackson win it," said Neumann. "I went home and wrote up a proposal saying we want to run an electronic market and see if the market could do a better job than the polls."


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