Who will @Austin first choose to manage a public interest market subsidization fund by EOY?
resolved Dec 16
Another Manifold Staff Member


Resolves to the name of the person he chooses if he does so, split equal if he chooses several people. All Manifold Staff are combined into the Manifold Staff option. Resolves to "Nobody" if this does not happen by EOY.

Duplicate answers will be disregarded. I will not trade on this market except to bet down duplicate answers.

[Admin update by Austin] Here's a bit more clarification on what I'd like to do:

  • I'll offer M50k to up to 8 members of the Manifold community as a subsidization budget: @firstuserhere, @IsaacKing, @Joshua, @marktweise, @BoltonBailey and up to 3 tbd

  • This budget is meant to be spent solely on subsidizing markets that are in the public interest. I'd expect you to split it up between 5-50 markets, but it's really up to you.

  • This budget is meant to be spent completely before the end of Oct.

  • When you subsidize a market, please leave a comment about why you did so

  • I'll award an additional M5k bonus to each of person who writes up an eg blog post or Manifold market about their reflections on this experiment, before Nov 3rd. Such a writeup would also be a big component in me deciding to renew your budget, and this subsidy experiment.

    • And an additional M2.5k if the post is crossposted somewhere else, for the SEO of backlinking to Manifold's good markets

To apply, submit your name above and write a comment about why I should choose you and what your subsidies would target.

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Ah - @RobertCousineau reminds me, I was supposed to send M5k or M7.5k to anyone who wrote up their experiences as a market subsidizer. I just sent M7.5k to @marktwse for this article; did @firstuserhere, @IsaacKing, @Joshua or @BoltonBailey have any such writeups?

(If you meant to do a writeup but are still going to get to it, I'm happy to extend eg another week. Also completely optional, so nw if you weren't planning on it!)


  • I'm happy we ran this experiment! I think getting Marketwise to write his article which then prompted Stephen to overhaul our boosts system, alone was worth the cost. I think this also helped get Joshua and Marketwise more integrated into the Manifold community, which I'm very grateful for. I think the subsidizing of markets was also good, but that's the part that I'm kind of missing the writeups for ๐Ÿคฃ

  • I'm currently not running this program again because the Manifold Community Fund is taking up what available time I have for organizing this kind of thing

  • I continue to think this would be a good simple intervention to make Manifold better, in case somebody else wants to take charge of it.

    • I'm generally open to any proposals of the form "this will make Manifold better, all I need is some amount of mana from Manifold to run it"

@Austin I kept track of all the markets I subsidized, but ran into some difficulty writing up the analysis. It's tough to draw conclusions on which subsidies worked best without having a control group!

I don't want all the data I gathered to go to waste though, I think I will try to put something together soon if other work isn't too busy. I think this was a really cool experiment and I definitively enjoyed @marktwse's write-up! Curious to hear what the other subsidy managers' conclusions were if they do one too.

Ah, this was a good reminder to finally resolve this market ๐Ÿ˜…

@Austin Ah whoops, this got buried under my other projects. I'll try to make a writeup soon.

@Joshua @IsaacKing @firstuserhere @BoltonBailey my fellow subsidizers: If you still have some budget left, maybe spend some on boosts too! I underestimated them. https://open.substack.com/pub/marketwise/p/liquidity-vs-promotion-both-are-useful?r=28sbv1&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

Fantastic write-up! Boosts used to be pretty ineffective, but seems like recent changes to the system have made them much more worth the mana!

@marketwise I sent a tip for the post - same goes to anyone else who writes something high quality about manifold, or includes manifold links in high quality off-site posts (amounts may vary)

I feel like I should probably resolve this soon? Also, I've made a new market to pick one big market to subsidize:

And now in advertising that question here, I am marketing my market market.

@Austin happy to do this. I guess I'll mainly do geopolitical markets

@NathanpmYoung Added you as an option onto the market!

Nvm, didn't see you already added one.

@NathanpmYoung I think you'd be a great person for this just based on your track record, but for the benefit of other participants could you write a few sentences about your planned subsidy strategy?

(you also don't have to stick to the outlined plan! but it's nice to have a bit of preregistration haha)

I've made a tag! It's not just for markets we subsidize, but for any markets you think we should subsidize. Please add markets to it that you think would be good candidates!


@Joshua Should I be able to add markets? Doesn't look like I can.

As far as I know, only one person can manage a dashboard right now. They should really add the feature to make other people mods! If you post what markets you subsidized I can add them for you though.

Oh I misunderstood you before, yeah I think anyone should be able to apply the tag. Not sure why you can't, I'll look into that. Can anyone else reading this try?

@Joshua asked for some feedback on the markets he's subsidized so far; I'm reposting here so everyone can share context cc @firstuserhere @IsaacKing @marktweise @BoltonBailey:

  • The markets look pretty good on a first look through! They are all longer term though, it would be nice to have some that resolve sooner too.

  • I'm curious about whether the same subsidy will have a different effect on Multiple Choice markets

  • Also curious about the effect of adding subsidies vs buying mana ads. FWIW I'd be happy for the "subsidy" budget to spent on direct subsidies, limit orders, mana ads, bounties, incentive markets, tournaments or however else you can imagine spending mana to promote markets in the public good

  • Love the google doc! I'd repost the comments that you had for each market, directly on the market, to help out the market creator too

  • Not super sure about asking them to add [M1000 subsidy] to market titles -- i think it somewhat degrades the user experience of browsing markets, and a bit zero-sum in fighting for attention. That said, it's also the main way users can learn about this -- our site doesn't do a great job of promoting subsidies otherwise, sadly

Also from Joshua:

I think I'll also make a Dashboard with all the markets I subsidized, but not sure how many people actually use those

I think that's a great idea and would recommend y'all try this too. Dashboards are feature we're still polishing and improving, your feedback on these would be super helpful!

Made the dashboard here.

First one I've made, my first observation is that it would help to be able to add the other subsidy-managers as mods/admins of the dashboard so they can also add markets to it.

Short of that, it would help if I could have the dashboard automatically include any market with a tag, and then make a "October Subsidized Markets" tag that people could put on their markets.

@Austin Great! I've not written a doc yet but have logged the subsidies so far and my thoughts on them in this auto-updating sheet.

Not super sure about asking them to add [M1000 subsidy] to market titles -- i think it somewhat degrades the user experience of browsing markets, and a bit zero-sum in fighting for attention.

Would love if this was added as a small visual tag next to the market's title, would make it easier to improve ranking of markets for devs and easier to see subsidized markets for users.

This would be especially useful because the title chars are quite limited and adding "$X subsidy" is one of the best ways to attract traders to the market.

@Austin I decided against a dashboard and tag because that clashes with the idea of having a control group. I wouldn't know how much of an effect would come from the subsidy and how much from dashboard/tag prominence.

Here's a proposal for something I would/could do with the mana. I call it Markets for Markets.

Manifold presents itself as a new way to purvey news. That it does so quantitatively through market probabilities is a strength. But the other side of that coin is that it is not always obvious what factors the market thinks are the most important to the outcomes.

I would like to make a competition to subsidize markets that establish important preconditions for events Manifold is interested in. The competition would look something like this: Participants would have the opportunity to design markets that are correlated with preexisting large markets, but which resolve before those large markets do. For example, someone might want to target the market /MatthewBarnett/will-ai-be-a-major-topic-during-the by designing a market about something related like "By April 2024, will a new LLM have been released that doubles the performance of previous LLMs".

Most of the subsidy for this competition would go towards joint probability markets that track whether or not the designed markets really do provide useful information about the targeted markets. A part of the subsidy could also potentially be awarded as a prize to the person who designed the best market.

Perhaps the biggest downside of this proposal is its complexity. I tried to run a similar competition in the past, but I did not publicize or subsidize it very much, and I based the criterion on information-theoretic concepts that were perhaps hard to understand, and I didn't get participants. If selected, I would do some work to make this a bit easier to understand, and maybe I could write a blog post or something to explain the competition a bit better.

The benefits of the competition, if successful, would be:

  • Increased interest in designing good resolution criteria.

  • Making large markets on Manifold update more rationally by tying their probabilities to important milestones.

@BoltonBailey Also, I'm happy to discuss this idea more. There are a lot of variants in the way this could be constructed.

@BoltonBailey sounds good, you're approved!

@Austin And I've now sent out 5 of the 50k grants. I'll leave the call for proposals open for another week.

Should I wait to resolve this market until then?

@Joshua (Austin here) yeah, I would suggest waiting until the call is officially closed

Okay will do!

@Manifold @Austin It's been 8 days since that message, are the managers for this round finalized?

Tentatively waiting for @NathanpmYoung to respond above, otherwise closed to other applicants

Oh, no Jack looks like then?

@Joshua I decided I was a bit busy this month and would leave it to others