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Price manipulation in an experimental asset market

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  • Veiga, Helena
  • Vorsatz, Marc

Abstract

We analyze in the laboratory whether an uninformed trader is able to manipulate the price of a financial asset by comparing the results of two experimental treatments. In the benchmark treatment, 12 subjects trade a common value asset that takes either a high or a low value. Only three subjects know the actual value of the asset while the market is open for trading. The manipulation treatment is identical to the benchmark treatment apart from the fact that we introduce a computer program as an additional uninformed trader. This robot buys a fixed number of shares in the beginning of a trading period and sells them again afterwards. Our main result shows that the last contract price is significantly higher in the manipulation treatment if the asset takes a low value and that private information is very well disseminated by both markets if the value of the asset is high. Finally, even though this simple manipulation program loses money on average, it is profitable in some instances.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 327-342

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:3:p:327-342

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Asset market Experiment Price manipulation Rational expectations;

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References

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  1. Benabou, Roland & Laroque, Guy, 1992. "Using Privileged Information to Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, and Credibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 921-58, August.
  2. Kumar, Praveen & Seppi, Duane J, 1992. " Futures Manipulation with "Cash Settlement."," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1485-502, September.
  3. Hanson, Robin & Oprea, Ryan & Porter, David, 2006. "Information aggregation and manipulation in an experimental market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 449-459, August.
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  5. Sunder, S., 1989. "Market For Information: Experimental Evidence," GSIA Working Papers 88-89-53, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Forsythe, Robert & Palfrey, Thomas R. & Plott, Charles R., . "Asset Valuation in an Experimental Market," Working Papers 299, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  7. Plott, Charles R. & Sunder, Shyam., . "Rational Expectations and the Aggregation of Diverse Information in Laboratory Security Markets," Working Papers 463, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  9. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1991. "Information Mirages in Experimental Asset Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 463-93, October.
  10. Plott, Charles R. & Sunder, Shyam., . "Efficiency of Experimental Security Markets with Insider Information: An Application of Rational Expectations Models," Working Papers 331, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 10504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Archishman Chakraborty & Bilge Yilmaz, . "Informed Manipulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 7-00, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  14. Robin Hanson & Ryan Oprea, 2009. "A Manipulator Can Aid Prediction Market Accuracy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 304-314, 04.
  15. Archishman Chakraborty & Bilge Yilmaz, 2008. "Microstructure Bluffing with Nested Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 280-84, May.
  16. Forsythe, Robert & Lundholm, Russell, 1990. "Information Aggregation in an Experimental Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 309-47, March.
  17. Bossaerts, Peter & Plott, Charles, 2002. "The CAPM in thin experimental financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1093-1112, July.
  18. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2007. "Outcome Manipulation in Corporate Prediction Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 554-563, 04-05.
  19. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  20. Itay Goldstein & Alexander Guembel, 2008. "Manipulation and the Allocational Role of Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 133-164.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Powell, O.R., 2010. "Essays on experimental bubble markets," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4219264, Tilburg University.
  2. Helena Veiga & Marc Vorsatz, 2008. "Aggregation and Dissemination of Information in Experimental Asset Markets in the Presence of a Manipulator," Working Papers 2008-29, FEDEA.
  3. Marc Vorsatz & Helena Veiga, 2008. "The Effect of Short–Selling on the Aggregation of Information in an Experimental Asset Market," Working Papers 2008-26, FEDEA.

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