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date: 14 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The conventional wisdom is that political futures markets are a recent invention. However, such markets have a long history in many Western countries. This chapter traces the operation of political futures markets back to sixteenth-century Italy, eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland, nineteenth-century Canada, and twentieth-century Australia and Singapore. In the United States election betting was a common part of political campaigns in the pre-1860 period but over the post-1860 period became increasingly concentrated in the organized futures markets in New York City.

Keywords: political betting, betting markets, futures markets

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