The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Alan F. Karr
Reference work entry


A martingale is a mathematical model of a fair game, or of some other process that is incrementally random noise. The term, which also denotes part of a horse’s harness or a ship’s rigging, refers in addition to a gambling system in which every losing bet is doubled; it was introduced into probability theory by J.L. Doob. Among stochastic processes, martingales have particular constancy properties with respect to conditioning. The time parameter may be either discrete or continuous, but since the latter is more important in economic applications, we concentrate on it.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan F. Karr
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