The Most Active Inkling Market Ever?

Michael Giberson

Is the most actively traded Inkling Market focused on a single party’s primary in a special election to be held to replace a retiring member of Congress? More active than any other political market on Inkling, more than baseball, more than football, and even more than American Idol. A few markets have more individual traders, but so far as I can tell none have seen more activity.

Inkling Mass. Fifth District Special - Dem

Massachusetts political observer David Eisenthal has posted his monthly update on the handful of prediction markets that he monitors, including a report on the Inkling Market for the Democratic Primary for the Massachusetts Fifth Congressional District Special Election. Eisenthal created and administers the market on Inkling. He observes:

The Fifth Congressional District market has continued to be very active and volatile. This has been, in fact, one of the most actively traded public markets on the Inkling platform ever. 275 traders have participated in this market – making more than 2,500 trades in a little more than two months – with 176 traders currently holding positions.

At the moment, Middlesex Community College Dean Niki Tsongas holds a commanding lead at $56.28 per share. State Rep. Jamie Eldridge (D – Acton) follows in a distant second place at $19.49 per share…

This observer believes that the current market levels are a reasonable representation of objective probabilities. However, the volume and volatility of the market means that it is likely to change quite a bit between now and September 4.

No, not “one of the most actively traded” – the most actively traded market. On Inkling’s list of markets by activity, it shows the Mass. Fifth District market as number five in number of traders, but as of this morning it has more than 2600 trades. This market has generated more activity than the sum of the next two most actively traded Inkling markets.

As noted here before, the market was blogged in a couple of Massachusetts-based political sites soon after it was created, some of which urged readers to get behind their favored candidates, and at least one candidate continues to actively urge his backers to show support by buying shares on the Inkling market.

Among other consequences of this market, at least one new member of Congress arriving this year will have become familiar with prediction markets before arriving in D.C. Perhaps as important, a few of his or her staff will likely have been actively participating in the markets. The markets will be less of an abstract thing out there vaguely connected to gambling and wasn’t-there-that-terrorists-thing? what-was-that-about? And more of something kind of interesting and fun and, just maybe, surprisingly accurate and potentially useful.

The folks interested in influencing public policy toward prediction markets should take notice.

[NOTE: Cross posted from Midas Oracle, the group blog on prediction markets)