How the Iowa Electronic Markets Work

Sept. 16 1999 9:01 PM

How the Iowa Electronic Markets Work

Pundits often talk about a candidate's stock going up or down. At the Iowa Electronic Markets (operated by the University of Iowa's Henry B. Tippie College of Business), this really happens. You can bet on a candidate by buying stock in him or her. If the candidate wins, you get a dollar for each share you own. If he loses, your shares are worthless. The amount you pay for each share depends on the seller's confidence that the candidate will win. When the candidate is doing well in the race, investors are confident that their stock will pay off, so they charge more for it when they sell. When he's doing poorly, they charge less. If you buy shares in the candidate when his stock is low, you don't have to wait for Election Day to cash in. You can sell your shares at a profit as soon as his stock improves.

Advertisement

Right now, the Iowa markets are trading stock in four contests: The Democratic presidential nomination (click here to see the prospectus and latest quotes), the Republican presidential nomination (click here), the New York Senate race (click here), and which party will control Congress (click here). "Office Pool" reports the latest share price for each candidate or party as of noon ET that day, along with Slate's analysis of who's up, who's down, and why. For updates or more complete information, visit the Iowa Electronic Markets site.

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Politico Wonders Why Gabby Giffords Is So “Ruthless” on Gun Control

Behold
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?