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Stock market efficiency: an autopsy?

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  • Peter Fortune
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    Abstract

    This article assesses the current state of the efficient market hypothesis, which was the conventional wisdom among academic economists in the 1970s and most of the 1980s. It concludes that empirical evidence provides an overwhelming case against the efficient market hypothesis. The evidence exists in the form of a number of well-established anomalies--the small firm effect, the closed-end fund puzzle, the Value Line enigma, the loser’s blessing and winner’s curse, and the January and weekend effects. ; These anomalies can be explained by resorting to a model of "noise trading," in which markets are segmented with the "smart money" enforcing a high degree of efficiency in the pricing of stocks of large firms while less informed traders dominate the market for small firms. This model can generate cycles in stock prices similar to those observed in the real world. The evidence suggests that in an inefficient market, policies designed to mitigate price changes might be appropriate.

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    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/neer/neer1991/neer291b.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its journal New England Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (1991)
    Issue (Month): Mar ()
    Pages: 17-40

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbne:y:1991:i:mar:p:17-40

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    Keywords: Stock market;

    References

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    1. Poterba, James M. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1988. "Mean reversion in stock prices : Evidence and Implications," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 27-59, October.
    2. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
    3. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1990. "The Noise Trader Approach to Finance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 19-33, Spring.
    4. Kleidon, Allan W, 1986. "Variance Bounds Tests and Stock Price Valuation Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 953-1001, October.
    5. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, . "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _124, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
    6. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Tirole, Jean, 1982. "On the Possibility of Speculation under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1163-81, September.
    8. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
    9. Malkiel, Burton G, 1977. "The Valuation of Closed-End Investment-Company Shares," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 847-59, June.
    10. Peter Fortune, 1989. "An assessment of financial market volatility: bills, bonds, and stocks," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 13-28.
    11. Schwert, G William, 1989. " Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change over Time?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1115-53, December.
    12. Charles Lee & Andrei Shleifer & Richard Thaler, 1990. "Investor Sentiment and the Closed-End Fund Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 3465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. William F. Sharpe, 1964. "Capital Asset Prices: A Theory Of Market Equilibrium Under Conditions Of Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 19(3), pages 425-442, 09.
    14. Marsh, Terry A & Merton, Robert C, 1986. "Dividend Variability and Variance Bounds Tests for the Rationality ofStock Market Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 483-98, June.
    15. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
    16. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-74, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mookerjee, Rajen & Yu, Qiao, 1999. "An empirical analysis of the equity markets in China," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 41-60, June.
    2. Guidi, Francesco & Gupta, Rakesh & Maheshwari, Suneel, 2010. "Weak-form market efficiency and calendar anomalies for Eastern Europe equity markets," MPRA Paper 21984, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Kohers, Theodor & Pandey, Vivek & Kohers, Gerald, 1997. "Using nonlinear dynamics to test for market efficiency among the major U.S. stock exchanges," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 523-545.
    4. Richard W. Kopcke, 1997. "Are stocks overvalued?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 21-40.
    5. Christopher J. Neely, 1997. "Technical analysis in the foreign exchange market: a layman's guide," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 23-38.
    6. Qin Xiao & Randolph Gee Kwang Tan, 2006. "Signal Extraction with Kalman Filter: A Study of the Hong Kong Property Price Bubbles," Economic Growth centre Working Paper Series 0601, Nanyang Technolgical University, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Economic Growth centre.
    7. Lim, Kian-Ping & Brooks, Robert D. & Kim, Jae H., 2008. "Financial crisis and stock market efficiency: Empirical evidence from Asian countries," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 571-591, June.

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