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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On Prediction Without Markets

Good overview and link to the original Cornell paper, here an abstract of that:

' ... Though theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that markets do often outperform alternative mechanisms, less attention has been paid to the magnitude of improvement. Here we compare the performance of prediction markets to conventional methods of prediction, namely polls and statistical models. Examining thousands of sporting and movie events, we find that the relative advantage of prediction markets is surprisingly small, as measured by squared error, calibration, and discrimination. Moreover, these domains also exhibit remarkably steep diminishing returns to information, with nearly all the predictive power captured by only two or three parameters ... '

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