Manipulating political stock markets: A field experiment and a century of observational data
Political stock markets have a long history in the United States. Organized prediction markets for Presidential elections have operated on Wall Street (1880-1944), the Iowa Electronic Market (1988-present), and TradeSports (2001-present). Proponents claim such markets efficiently aggregate information and provide forecasts superior to polls. An important counterclaim is that such markets may be subject to manipulation by interested parties. We analyze this argument by studying alleged and actual speculative attacks- large trades, uninformed by fundamentals, intended to change prices- in these three markets. We first examine the historical Wall Street markets where political operatives from the contending parties actively and openly bet on city, state and national races; the record is rife with accusations that parties tried to boost their candidates through investments and wash bets. Next we report the results of a field experiment involving a series of planned, random investments-- accounting for two percent of total market volume-- in the Iowa Electronic Market in 2000. Finally, we investigate the speculative attacks on TradeSports market in 2004 when a single trader made a series of large investments in an apparent attempt to make one candidate appear stronger. In the cases studied here, the speculative attack initially moved prices, but these changes were quickly undone and prices returned close to their previous levels. We find little evidence that political stock markets can be systematically manipulated beyond short time periods.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Colin F. Camerer, 1998. "Can Asset Markets Be Manipulated? A Field Experiment with Racetrack Betting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 457-482, June.
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010.
"A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1193, David K. Levine.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
- Carsten Schmidt & Jan Hansen & Martin Strobel, 2004.
"Manipulation in political stock markets - preconditions and evidence,"
Natural Field Experiments
00265, The Field Experiments Website.
- Jan Hansen & Carsten Schmidt & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Manipulation in political stock markets - preconditions and evidence," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(7), pages 459-463.
- Hansen, Jan & Schmidt, Carsten & Strobel, Martin, 2001. "Manipulation in political stock markets: Preconditions and evidence," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,61, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
- Merrick, John Jr & Naik, Narayan Y. & Yadav, Pradeep K., 2005. "Strategic trading behavior and price distortion in a manipulated market: anatomy of a squeeze," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 171-218, July.
- Werner Antweiler & Murray Z. Frank, 2004. "Is All That Talk Just Noise? The Information Content of Internet Stock Message Boards," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1259-1294, 06.
- Thaler, Richard H & Ziemba, William T, 1988. "Parimutuel Betting Markets: Racetracks and Lotteries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 161-74, Spring.
- Kenneth A. Froot & David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 1990.
"Herd on the Street: Informational Inefficiencies in a Market with Short-Term Speculation,"
NBER Working Papers
3250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Froot, Kenneth A & Scharftstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1992. " Herd on the Street: Informational Inefficiencies in a Market with Short-Term Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1461-84, September.
- Steven Gjerstad, 2004. "Risk Aversion, Beliefs, and Prediction Market Equilibrium," Microeconomics 0411002, EconWPA.
- Blume, Lawrence & Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1994. " Market Statistics and Technical Analysis: The Role of Volume," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 153-81, March.
- Colin Camerer, 1998. "Can asset markets be manipulated? A field experiment with racetrack betting," Natural Field Experiments 00222, The Field Experiments Website.
- Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2001. "Asset Pricing under Asymmetric Information: Bubbles, Crashes, Technical Analysis, and Herding," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296980.
- Hanson, Robin & Oprea, Ryan & Porter, David, 2006. "Information aggregation and manipulation in an experimental market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 449-459, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00325. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.