Media Release | Feb. 27, 2013

Better than polls? UBC launches prediction market for B.C. Election

The University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business has launched an online prediction market for investors seeking to predict the outcome of B.C.’s May 14 provincial election.

“Prediction markets are proven capable of predicting events with an accuracy that often exceeds polls,” says Associate Prof. Werner Antweiler, who developed the prediction market trading platform and is director of the market.

The Sauder School of Business Predictions Market is an online, real-time web platform where participants purchase and trade “shares” representing the political parties. Using their own funds, investors earn profits and bear the risk of losing money. At the close of market, all shares are purchased back at prices determined by the election results.

“Investing their own money motivates traders to make informed decisions free of political bias to earn profits by predicting the political parties’ fortunes,” says Antweiler. “Whereas polls can lag by several days before their results become available, prediction markets are forward-looking and take into account momentum.”

Participants can invest in the popular vote, legislative assembly seat shares and majority government. The minimum deposit required to open an account is $25, and the maximum amount that may be invested is $1,000 per person. Participants must be Canadian residents.

Researchers will test the market’s ability to crowd-source predictions on a variety of economic and political events, including Bank of Canada interest rate announcements.

The Sauder School of Business Predictions Markets operate on a not-for-profit basis and contribute to research and teaching on market and trader behaviour. Its predecessor, the UBC Election Stock Market, has successfully predicted federal and provincial election outcomes since 1993.

For more information, to open an account, or to watch the results, visit http://predictionmarkets.ca.

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Contact

Andrew Riley
UBC Sauder School of Business
604-822-8345 / 604-306-7137 (cell)
andrew.riley@sauder.ubc.ca

Basil Waugh
UBC Public Affairs
604-822-2048
basil.waugh@ubc.ca

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