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UBC runs futures market on BC 2013 election

The Sauder School of Business at UBC is running a futures market on the B.C. 2013 election, and so far the NDP's future looks far brighter than that of the Liberals, Conservatives, or Greens.

Sauder's Prediction Markets website explains its purpose:

In our prediction markets, the ultimate values of the contracts being traded are based on the outcome of political events in Canada such as provincial or federal elections, as well as other select economic or political events. Participants invest their own funds, buy and sell listed contracts, earn profits and bear the risk of losing money.

Our prediction markets are operated as a not-for-profit venture. The method of issuing contracts and making final payoffs on these contracts ensures that we do not realize financial profits or suffer losses. We do not charge any transaction fees.

The exclusive purposes for conducting the prediction markets are teaching and research. Participants learn first-hand about the operation of a financial futures market and, because they have an added incentive to do so, learn more about the political or economic events associated with the contracts. As a research project, our markets generate valuable data that provide insights into market and trader behaviour.

The market offers opportunities to predict the popular vote, the share of legislative seats each party might gain, and the likelihood of a majority government.

In the most recent overview of the popular vote, published at 10:45 PST on Feb. 27, the NDP was holding steady at 45.88¢, with the amount reflecting the percentage of the provincial vote investors currently expect the New Democrats to win. The Liberals' last transaction was at 35.00¢. The Greens were at 9.50¢ and the Conservatives' last transaction was at 4.00¢.

In the majority market, a B.C. Liberal majority was selling at 2.0¢ while an NDP majority was selling at 94.89¢.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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