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Who is going to win the election?

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Nov• 04•08

Well its election day here in the  U.S.   As an engaged citizen, I encourage you to vote.  As an economist, I know that your vote will not matter. Anthony Downs looks at the irrationality of voting and claims that the probability that your vote will matter, that it will itself determine the outcome, is in essence zero.

So should you vote? Cafe Hayek states that even though voting may be irrational, it is likely the right thing to do: “Kant’s categorical imperative says basically that you should act assuming that others will act the same way.”

So who is going to be the next president of the United States of America? Marketplace has a segment dedicated to two sites that attempt to predict the outcome.  The first, InTrade, is a prediction market that economists like because the people doing the predicting are actually betting their own money on their projections.  The second site is fivethirtyeight.com.  This site uses sophisticated statistical techniques to arrive at more accurate projections of the winner.  As of 8:45am PCT, both sites had Barack Obama as the heavy favorite.

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