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Sunspots in the Laboratory

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  • John Duffy
  • Eric O'N. Fisher

Abstract

We show that extrinsic or nonfundamental uncertainty influences markets in a controlled environment. This work provides the first direct evidence of sunspot equilibria. These equilibria require a common understanding of the semantics of the sunspot variable, and they appear to be sensitive to the flow of information. Sunspots always occur in a closed-book call market, but they happen only occasionally in a double auction, where inframarginal bids and offers are observable.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 510-529

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:510-529

Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054201350
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References

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  1. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, December.
  2. AUMANN, Robert J., . "Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies," CORE Discussion Papers RP -167, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1992. "An Experimental Test of Equilibrium Dominance in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1350-65, December.
  4. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1980. "Market Fundamentals versus Price-Level Bubbles: The First Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-70, August.
  5. Marimon Ramon & Spear Stephen E. & Sunder Shyam, 1993. "Expectationally Driven Market Volatility: An Experimental Study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 74-103, October.
  6. Macleod, B. & Brandts, J., 1992. "Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Games with Recommended Play," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 164.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  7. Holm, Hakan J., 2000. "Gender-Based Focal Points," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 292-314, August.
  8. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
  9. Plott, Charles R. & Gray, Peter, 1990. "The multiple unit double auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 245-258, March.
  10. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-51, September.
  11. Colin F. Camerer, 1998. "Can Asset Markets Be Manipulated? A Field Experiment with Racetrack Betting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 457-482, June.
  12. Azariadis, Costas & Guesnerie, Roger, 1986. "Sunspots and Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 725-37, October.
  13. Peck, James & Shell, Karl, 1991. "Market Uncertainty: Correlated and Sunspot Equilibria in Imperfectly Competitive Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1011-29, October.
  14. Noussair, C.N. & Lei , V. & Plott, C., 2001. "Non-speculative bubbles in experimental asset markets: Lack of common knowledge of rationality vs. actual irrationality," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-381105, Tilburg University.
  15. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
  16. Azariadis, Costas, 1981. "Self-fulfilling prophecies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 380-396, December.
  17. Van Huyck, John B. & Gillette, Ann B. & Battalio, Raymond C., 1992. "Credible assignments in coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 606-626, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Hans Matthews, 2004. "Who is Post-Walrasian Man?," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0412, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Raphael H. Solomon, 2004. "When Bad Things Happen to Good Banks: Contagious Bank Runs and Currency Crises," Working Papers 04-18, Bank of Canada.
  3. Bizer, Kilian & Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till & Spiwoks, Markus, 2014. "Strategic coordination in forecasting: An experimental study," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 195, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  4. Roberto Ricciuti, 2005. "Bringing Macroeconomics into the Lab," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 004, University of Siena.
  5. Slobodyan, Sergey, 2005. "Indeterminacy, sunspots, and development traps," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 159-185, January.
  6. John Duffy, 2008. "Macroeconomics: A Survey of Laboratory Research," Working Papers 334, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
  7. Heinemann, Frank & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Fehr, Dietmar, 2011. "The Power of Sunspots: An Experimental Analysis," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48724, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  8. Roos, Michael W.M., 2008. "Predicting the macroeconomic effects of abstract and concrete events," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 192-201, March.
  9. Douglas D. Davis & Korenok Oleg & Edward S. Prescott, 2011. "An Experimental Analysis of Contingent Capital with Market-Price Triggers," Working Papers 1102, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2013.
  10. Shu-Heng Chen & Chung-Chih Liao & Pei-Jung Chou, 2008. "On the plausibility of sunspot equilibria," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-41, June.
  11. Orrego, Fabrizio, 2011. "Habit formation and sunspots in overlapping generations models," Working Papers 2011-013, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  12. Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & James Peck, 2010. "Behavioral Biases, Informational Externalities, and Efficiency in Endogenous-Timing Herding Games: an Experimental Study," Working Papers 1004, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  13. Jasmina Arifovic & Janet Hua Jiang, 2014. "Do Sunspots Matter? Evidence from an Experimental Study of Bank Runs," Working Papers 14-12, Bank of Canada.
  14. Douglas Davis & Edward S. Prescott & Oleg Korenok, 2011. "An experimental analysis of contingent capital triggering mechanisms," Working Paper 11-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  15. Arifovic, Jasmina & Hua Jiang, Janet & Xu, Yiping, 2013. "Experimental evidence of bank runs as pure coordination failures," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2446-2465.

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