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Rietz Comments on IEM

On the Iowa Elections Market at the University of Iowa, investors essentially bet on whether Bush or Kerry will win -- much the same way that traders gamble on futures and stocks on Wall Street. With a dizzying number of polls seemingly unable to tell who exactly is winning this race, some have turned to these markets to assess the current state of the campaign. Though political scientists dispute it, a number of economic experts now believe that these markets may be far more accurate than polls. At the Iowa Elections Market, which began with the 1988 presidential election, the average margin of error for the popular vote has been 1.4 percent, half of most major polls and news organizations, said finance professor TOM RIETZ, one of the project's directors. The paper is based in New York

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