In 1990 I started publishing my "idea futures" concept of using betting markets to improve science incentives (see here, here, and here.) It wasn’t until a few years later that I found that in 1986 the economist
BTW, nice blog, I'm learning a lot myself.
I see, duly noted.
Martin, Leamer's proposal would not seem to change how much we encourage publishing negative results. After all, the author of those papers also have opinions, they are just opinions closer to a zero effect.
Martin, Leamer's proposal was for a market among specialists. And I note that potentially important negative findings would not be underpriced, but simply unpriced - a market would not generate incrementally misinformative prices, but simply failing to advance on some questions. Not even the Earthweb is interested in predicting what you'll have for breakfast.
The problem is that in science, especially within specialist fields, negative results are often just as important as positive results. To specialists, knowing what isn't true is just as important as knowing what is, so that you don't keep sampling the same research space over and over. In fact, negative results can inform other people's research in unexpected ways.
That might not seem hot and sexy to the lay public, so they wouldn't evaluate it the same way. They would devalue potentially important findings.
Perry, Shockwave Rider described a future with a lot of betting on current events, but the prices weren't described as being socially useful. In fact, if I recall the elites there were supposed to have used the markets to manipulate public opinion.
Perhaps you can profit from improving prices in the next election.
There is also the science fiction novel "The Shockwave Rider" which featured idea futures markets under another name -- the novel was published in the early 1970s.
An aside on Idea Futures more generally:
I watched the TradeSports contracts on the most recent congressional election quite closely in the few days around the election. Even through most of election day, the senate contracts did not well reflect the final outcome of the election. A lot of real money was at stake, so one would think that if the market participants had a good sense of what was going to happen that the news media lacked the market would have reflected that, but in the end, the traders don't seem to have been particularly prescient.