Prediction Markets: The Practical and Normative Possibilities for the Social Production of Knowledge

Episteme 6 (1):91-106 (2009)
The quest to foretell the future is omnipresent in human affairs. A potential solution to this epistemological conundrum has emerged through mass collaboration. Motored by the Internet, prediction markets allow a multitude of individuals to assume a stake in a security whose value is tied to a future event. The resulting prices offer a continuously updated probability estimate of the event actually taking place. This paper gives a survey of prediction markets, their history, mechanics, uses, and theoretical foundation. We also review the literature surrounding their efficacy. Though there are shortcomings with prediction markets, as well as practical constraints, they hold out the prospect of improving the quality of organizational decisions and increasing the level of participation in the deliberative process. We also note that lessons can be drawn from these markets to guide the epistemological practices of disciplines and inquiries in which empirical methods are difficult to apply
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    Bruce Ackerman & James S. Fishkin (2002). Deliberation Day. Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (2):129–152.
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