NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Historical Political Futures Markets: An International Perspective

Paul W. Rhode, Koleman Strumpf

NBER Working Paper No. 14377
Issued in October 2008
NBER Program(s):   DAE

Political future markets, in which investors bet on election outcomes, are often thought a recent invention. Such markets in fact have a long history in many Western countries. This paper traces the operation of political futures markets back to 16th Century Italy, 18th Century Britain, and 19th Century United States. In the United States, election betting was a common part of political campaigns in the antebellum period, but became increasingly concentrated in the organized futures markets in New York City over the postbellum period.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14377

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