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How Prediction Markets can Save Event Studies

Author

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  • Erik Snowberg
  • Justin Wolfers
  • Eric Zitzewitz

Abstract

This review paper articulates the relationship between prediction market data and event studies, with a special focus on applications in political economy. Event studies have been used to address a variety of political economy questions - from the economic effects of party control of government to the importance of complex rules in congressional committees. However, the results of event studies are notoriously sensitive to both choices made by researchers and external events. Specifically, event studies will generally produce different results depending on three interrelated things: which event window is chosen, the prior probability assigned to an event at the beginning of the event window, and the presence or absence of other events during the event window. In this paper we show how each of these may bias the results of event studies, and how prediction markets can mitigate these biases.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Snowberg & Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2011. "How Prediction Markets can Save Event Studies," CESifo Working Paper Series 3434, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3434
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp3434.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Leigh, Andrew & Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2003. "What do Financial Markets Think of War in Iraq?," Research Papers 1785, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    2. Erik Snowberg & Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2007. "Partisan Impacts on the Economy: Evidence from Prediction Markets and Close Elections," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 807-829.
    3. Knight*, Brian, 2007. "Are policy platforms capitalized into equity prices? Evidence from the Bush/Gore 2000 Presidential Election," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 389-409, February.
    4. Paul W. Rhode & Koleman Strumpf, 2008. "Historical Political Futures Markets: An International Perspective," NBER Working Papers 14377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Andrea Mattozzi, 2008. "Can we insure against political uncertainty? Evidence from the U.S. stock market," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 43-55, October.
    6. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2006. "Interpreting prediction market prices as probabilities," Working Paper Series 2006-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    8. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 107-126, Spring.
    9. Ray C. Fair, 1996. "Econometrics and Presidential Elections," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 89-102, Summer.
    10. Snowberg, Erik & Wolfers, Justin & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2007. "Party Influence in Congress and the Economy," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 277-286, August.
    11. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    12. Pedro Santa-Clara & Rossen Valkanov, 2003. "The Presidential Puzzle: Political Cycles and the Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 1841-1872, October.
    13. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2009. "Using Markets to Inform Policy: The Case of the Iraq War," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 225-250, April.
    14. Jayachandran, Seema, 2006. "The Jeffords Effect," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 397-425, October.
    15. Paul Rhode & Koleman Strumpf, 2006. "Manipulating political stock markets: A field experiment and a century of observational data," Natural Field Experiments 00325, The Field Experiments Website.
    16. Paul W. Rhode & Koleman S. Strumpf, 2004. "Historical Presidential Betting Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 127-141, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    prediction markets; event studies; political economy;

    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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