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Market efficiency and learning in an artificial stock market: A perspective from Neo-Austrian economics

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  • Benink, Harald A.
  • Gordillo, José Luis
  • Pardo, Juan Pablo
  • Stephens, Christopher R.
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    Abstract

    An agent-based artificial financial market (AFM) is used to study market efficiency and learning in the context of the Neo-Austrian economic paradigm. Efficiency is defined in terms of the "excess" profits associated with different trading strategies, where excess is defined relative to a dynamic buy and hold benchmark in order to make a clean separation between trading gains and market gains. We define an Inefficiency matrix that takes into account the difference in excess profits of one trading strategy versus another (signal) relative to the standard error of those profits (noise) and use this statistical measure to gauge the degree of market efficiency. A one-parameter family of trading strategies is considered, the value of the parameter measuring the relative informational advantage of one strategy versus another. Efficiency is then investigated in terms of the composition of the market defined in terms of the relative proportions of traders using a particular strategy and the parameter values associated with the strategies. We show that markets are more efficient when informational advantages are small (small signal) and when there are many coexisting signals. Learning is introduced by considering "copycat" traders that learn the relative values of the different strategies in the market and copy the most successful one. We show how such learning leads to a more informationally efficient market but can also lead to a less efficient market as measured in terms of excess profits. It is also shown how the presence of exogeneous information shocks that change trader expectations increases efficiency and complicates the inference problem of copycats.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Empirical Finance.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (September)
    Pages: 668-688

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:17:y:2010:i:4:p:668-688

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Market efficiency Learning Artificial stock market Neo-Austrian economics;

    References

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    1. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    2. J. Doyne Farmer, 1999. "Market Force, Ecology, and Evolution," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 651, Society for Computational Economics.
    3. Blake LeBaron, 1999. "Evolution and Time Horizons in an Agent-Based Stock Market," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1342, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-617, December.
    5. Chen, Shu-Heng & Yeh, Chia-Hsuan, 2002. "On the emergent properties of artificial stock markets: the efficient market hypothesis and the rational expectations hypothesis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 217-239, October.
    6. LeBaron, Blake, 2000. "Agent-based computational finance: Suggested readings and early research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(5-7), pages 679-702, June.
    7. LeBaron, Blake, 2006. "Agent-based Computational Finance," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1187-1233 Elsevier.
    8. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
    9. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F & McDonald, Bill, 1990. " Predicting Stock Returns in an Efficient Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1109-28, September.
    10. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1995. " Predictability of Stock Returns: Robustness and Economic Significance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1201-28, September.
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