Justin Wolfers

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We analyze the extent to which simple markets can be used to aggregate disperse information into efficient forecasts of unknown future events. Drawing together data from a range of prediction contexts, we show that market-generated forecasts are typically fairly accurate, and they outperform most moderately sophisticated benchmarks. Carefully designed(More)
There are two fundamentally different views of the role of elections in policy formation. In one view, voters can affect candidates’ policy choices: competition for votes induces politicians to move toward the center. In this view, elections have the effect of bringing about some degree of policy compromise. In the alternative view, voters merely elect(More)
Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate Does the death penalty save lives? A surge of recent interest in this question has yielded a series of papers purporting to show robust and precise estimates of a substantial deterrent effect of capital punishment. We assess the various approaches that have been used in this literature,(More)
This paper discusses the short-run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. Although this tradeoff remains a necessary building block of business cycle theory, economists have yet to provide a completely satisfactory explanation for it. According to the consensus view among central bankers and monetary economists, a contractionary monetary shock raises(More)
Since 2005, Google has conducted the largest corporate experiment with prediction markets we are aware of. In this paper, we illustrate how markets can be used to study how an organization processes information. We show that market participants are not typical of Google’s workforce, and that market participation and success is skewed towards Google’s(More)
The "Easterlin paradox" suggests that there is no link between a society's economic development and its average level of happiness. We re-assess this paradox analyzing multiple rich datasets spanning many decades. Using recent data on a broader array of countries, we establish a clear positive link between average levels of subjective well-being and GDP per(More)