I'm giving out M$50,000 in market subsidies, distributed via decision market. Will at least 10 people participate?
resolved Nov 5

@Austin has granted myself and 4 other people each M$50,000 to use to subsidize prosocial markets before the end of October. My approach will be to leave my decisions up to the invisible hand of the market. (Unless the invisible hand of the market seems stupid, in which case I'll ignore it.)

If you would like your market to be subsidized, you should create one or more pairs of conditional markets that investigate the possibility of some positive outcome from the subsidy. For example:

  • "If [my other market] receives/does not recieve a subsidy of at least M$1000, will it get at least 200 traders?"

  • "If [my other market] receives/does not recieve a subsidy of at least M$5000, will it cause at least 30 people to join Manifold?"

  • "If [my other market] receives/does not recieve a subsidy of at least M$10,000, will a Twitter account of at least 20k followers share it within a month?"

  • "If [my other market] receives/does not recieve a subsidy of at least M$30,000, will it get cited in a news article?"

  • "If [my other market] receives/does not recieve any subsidy from Isaac, will he judge it to have been a good use of mana 1 month later?"

Those are just examples, the exact outcome and resolution criteria are up to you. Once you've created the markets, please provide a link to them here, and if I think the results are promising, I'll provide the subsidy.

Note that I will be focusing on markets that are of practical use to a large number of people; not personal, jokes, or non-predictive. (I won't completely rule out giving a subsidy to markets like that, but it's unlikely.)

This market resolves based on whether at least 10 people create such decision markets for me, and it seems they were serious attempts and not just spamming in order to make this resolve YES.

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Honestly, what is subsidy?

My other meta-markets received literally zero human traders, so I'm not going to repeat that 😅

But I think this market is also interesting (because it asks about the "heart" of art?), but I'm not sure if that's "practical". And it doesn't seem to gain much traction.


Looks like even less people are interested in betting on meta markets than on the main one 😐

predicted NO

@MrLuke255 Now make a market on what the final calibration of the meta-markets will be. We just haven't gone deep enough.

Receives subsidy: https://manifold.markets/bohaska/if-china-military-base-receives-a-s
If China military base receives a subsidy from Isaac, will he judge it to have been a productive use of his mana?
Doesn't receive subsidy: https://manifold.markets/bohaska/if-china-military-base-doesnt-recei
If China military base doesn't receive a subsidy from Isaac, will he judge it to have been a mistake later?

Main market: https://manifold.markets/Nosaix/will-china-start-building-another-m
Will China start building another military base in Africa before 1st August 2024?

I think that China's growing influence in geopolitics is a neglected topic in prediction markets. It'll be highly useful to know how aggressive or passive China will be in international affairs, and China-Africa relations would become more and more important in the future.

Receives subsidy: https://manifold.markets/bohaska/if-indian-military-base-in-africa-r
If Indian military base in Africa receives a subsidy from Isaac, will he judge it as a productive use of his mana?
Doesn't receive subsidy: https://manifold.markets/bohaska/if-indian-military-base-in-africa-d
If Indian military base in Africa doesn't receive a subsidy from Isaac, will he judge it to have been a mistake later?

Conditional markets about https://manifold.markets/bohaska/will-india-start-building-another-m
Will India start building another military base in the southwest Indian Ocean before end of 2026?

Indian geopolitics will likely become very important in the future. I think that subsidizing these markets will be beneficial not only the market itself, but also in promoting similar markets about Indian geopolitics and making more people aware of them.

predicted NO

@bohaska Those are the same market, you've double-negatived yourself. :)

predicted NO

So far we have three participants: Bolton Bailey, Sailfish, and Shump. 7 more needed to resolve this to YES.

I haven't given out any subsidies yet, but probably will be to some of Sailfish's markets once they improve their resolution criteria.

predicted NO

Everyone so far has focused on number of traders as the evaluation metric, which seems like one of the worst ones, as whalebait markets can easily get hundreds of traders without benefitting Manifold or society at all. The decision markets have also been very small, and often have obvious nonsense probabilities, like the one for "no subsidy" being higher than the one for "subsidy".

I'd like to see people try a little harder to operationalize "if you subsidize my market, a good thing will happen, which would be unlikely to happen otherwise" in a more useful way. This will require actually putting some thought into it, not just copy-pasting the first of my examples and calling it a day. People may want to subsidize and/or advertise their own decision markets in order to get them to a useful number of traders.

I'll nominate the following set of markets as a potential set of markets to subsidize.

I won't be subsidizing my own markets (nor am I betting in any of these, so subsidy doesn't benefit me directly) but I think these are some useful tests. Not many people may be interested in testing GPT-4 vision on math/phy/chem questions but I feel like this is useful anyway. Additionally, I plan to write a blog post detailing my attempts as well, shortly after the resolution.


I don't think these require large amounts of subsidies, ~100each would be fine.

predicted NO

@firstuserhere Manifold already has plenty of markets on specific metrics for near-term AI systems, many of which get popular on their own, so I don't think a subsidy is all that beneficial here.

@IsaacKing Alright, thanks for the response

Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but the markets I created for this got tagged as non-predictive for some reason but i can't seem to change it. Is there something I can do with that? Are meta markets supposed to be non-predictive?

predicted NO

@SirSalty That tag seems incorrect, mind removing it?

I've created a pair of markets for this market: https://manifold.markets/Shump/will-we-find-strong-evidence-for-ex


predicted NO

@Shump Why do you think this is a useful market to have in existence? How does it improve upon all the other markets about alien life?

predicted NO

For what it's worth, I do not actually think market subsidies will really do anything at all to get people to bet on markets.

predicted NO

@Sailfish They have to know it has a subsidy for it to make any difference in attracting participants...and also know what that means. Most users out of the whole site have no idea about either. Only "serious" users will figure it out unless they are taught how to find them and know what it means.

predicted NO

@Sailfish Mention the subsidy in the title and it will help.

predicted NO
predicted NO

Short list of prosocial markets which already have moderate engagement.

  1. Coal mine, Interesting and Alex Tabarrok may care about it

  2. AI diagnosis, people seem to want to bet on AI, high engagement

  3. Kuril Islands, interesting prima facie

  4. Hanania tweeted this but nobody cared (perhaps because of low volume!), measures something useful however.

predicted NO
  1. Ambiguous title, seems good to know.

  2. Vague resolution criteria, uncertain if this adds anything to the other markets on similar outcomes.

  3. Vague resolution criteria, seems useful if you fix that.

  4. Not a matter of general interest, doesn't add anything to the 50+ other markets on aging.

1 & 3 I'll likely subsidize once you fix the issues. 2 I might, if convinced it's a useful question. 4 I will not.

It's seems that you're using prosocial here as promotes (pro) socializing (social) i.e. markets which drive engagement, rather than improves (pro) society (social) i.e. markets which are good for the collective. Is this correct?

predicted NO

@Sailfish Nope, I mean the latter. The former is instrumentally helpful though, as having more eyes on a market means more opportunities for it to inform people.

predicted NO

@IsaacKing So, in all three markets, one which is prosocial (useful, meaningful, etc.), and two which as a pair are intended to measure the degree to which a subsidy of the prosocial market will drive engagement with the prosocial market?

predicted NO

@Sailfish I don't understand the question.