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Rational Frenzies and Crashes

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  • Bulow, Jeremy
  • Klemperer, Paul

Abstract

Most markets clear through a sequence of sales rather than through a Walrasian auctioneer. Because buyers can decide whether to buy now or later, rather than only now or never, their current 'willingness to pay' is much more sensitive to price than the demand curve is. A consequence is that markets will be extremely sensitive to new information, leading to both 'frenzies,' in which demand feeds on itself, and 'crashes,' in which price drops discontinuously. The paper also shows how a result from static auction theory, the revenue equivalence theorem, can be applied to solve for a dynamic price path. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 102 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-23

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:102:y:1994:i:1:p:1-23

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  1. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "A Theory of Monopoly Pricing Schemes with Demand Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 347-65, June.
  2. Welch, Ivo, 1992. " Sequential Sales, Learning, and Cascades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 695-732, June.
  3. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  4. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
  6. Gerard Gennotte and Hayne Leland., 1989. "Market Liquidity, Hedging and Crashes," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-192, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  8. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  10. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
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