I would love to see a graph of the total amount of money sloshing around in prediction markets in 2021, 2020, 2019, etc. stretching back as far as we have data. I'm wondering whether there is a trend and if so what the growth rate is. My Google-fu is failing me so I'm asking here in case anyone else knows. 

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This would be extremely annoying to gather, way more effort than the value of information would warrant. Nonetheless, here is a database of prediction markets which you could use to get started. 

Things that make this annoying:

  • Presidential betting markets were fairly big before the, say, 1930s
  • A large part of the volume comes from sports betting, and I imagine that you don't particularly care about it, but disambiguating by type of market might be difficult
  • Prediction market popularity waxes and wanes, so you'd have to get data for a lot of different prediction markets, some of which may not exist any more (e.g., Intrade) or which lose market share over time (e.g., Iowa Electronic Futures)

Some simplifications:

  • You might want to look only at US prediction markets from 2014-present, and only look at the top most popular ones (Nadex, PredictIt, Augur, Polymarket, Kalshi)
    • For all I know, Nadex might just completely dominate total volume except maybe during US elections.
      • I'm counting Nadex because of the economic indicators (e.g, unemployment). If you also count things like shorting Tesla as a prediction-market-like, things would also look different.
  • You might want to look only at PredictIt
  • You might want to just ask somebody who has been playing prediction markets since 2014 in the US for their subjective impression.

Thanks! Gosh, it's disappointing to learn that prediction markets wax and wane in popularity over time instead of steadily exponentially increasing as I had assumed. (I'm thinking about the 'world events' kind, not the sports or stock market kind) This makes me pessimistic that they'll ever get big enough to raise the sanity waterline.

Sorry, I meant "prediction market platforms" wax and wane, thought the other interpretation is also correct.
Also, for others reading the thread, the equivalent LW post [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/4XXnMXfTrYXqpugwB/growth-of-prediction-markets-over-time] got a better answer.