Money in Politics

As far as I can tell there are no odds markets like, for Slovakia’s politics, but there are more traditional bookies that sometimes deal in politics.  In 2006 Tipos ( dabbled in parliamentary odds, but did a rather poor job such that straight betting on the poll averages allowed would-be-bettors to make money (  Now Nike ( has entered the fray with a presidential option.  This is probably a no-brainer since the election outcome is unlikely to change from current polls putting Gasparovic ahead, and betting on him at 1.2:1 would probably yield less than the transaction costs.  Still, I’ll try to follow these numbers and see if they change on a daily basis.  Here are the current odds:

Gasparovic, 1.2:1
Radicova, 3.5:1
Martinakova, 100:1
Miklosko, 120:1
Melnik, 800:1
Bollova, 900:1
Sidor: 1000:1

What makes the difference between Melnik’s 800 and Sidor’s 1000 is a curiosity, but I suppose if everybody other than Radicova was 500:1 it wouldn’t seem very interesting for the bettors.

Slovakia’s Politics in a Nutshell

On May 11 I had the rare pleasure of talking about Slovakia’s politics at the Cafe Roland in Bratislava’s main square with an audience that actually (unlike my students) had some choice about whether to attend. I am grateful to the audience for their questions and their tolerance for what was (in the end) too much talking on my part. I promised at the time to post the powerpoint but on reading it realized that to make sense it would require considerable annotation. That is what I have (finally) done and it’s now online here:’s Politics in a Nutshell 2008 Annotated.ppt

As always, I’m interested in comments and questions.