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Learning in Coweb Experiments

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  • Hommes, C.H.
  • Sonnemans, J.
  • Tuinstra, J.
  • Velden, H. van de

    ()
    (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Abstract

Different theories of expectation formation and learning usually yield different outcomes for realized market prices in dynamic models. The purpose of this paper is to investigate expectation formation and learning in a controlled experimental environment. Subjects are asked to predict the next period's aggregate price in a dynamic commodity market model with feedback from individual expectations. Subjects have no information about underlying market equilibrium equations, but can learn by observing past price realizations and predictions. We conduct a stable, an unstable, and a strongly unstable treatment. In the stable treatment, rational expectations (RE) yield a good description of observed aggregate price fluctuations: prices remain close to the RE steady state. In the unstable treatments, prices exhibit large fluctuations around the RE steady state. Although the sample mean of realized prices is close to the RE steady state, the amplitude of the price fluctuations as measured by the variance is significantly larger than the amplitude under RE, implying persistent excess volatility. However, agents' forecasts are boundedly rational in the sense that fluctuations in aggregate prices are unpredictable and exhibit no forecastable structure that could easily be exploited. This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in Macroeconomic Dynamics , 2007, 11, Supplement S1, 8-33.

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Paper provided by Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance in its series CeNDEF Working Papers with number 02-06.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ams:ndfwpp:02-06

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Postal: Dept. of Economics and Econometrics, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 11, NL - 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: + 31 20 525 52 58
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Web page: http://www.fee.uva.nl/cendef/
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  1. Ramon Marimon & Stephen E. Spear & Shyam Sunder, 1992. "Expectationally-driven market volatility: an experimental study," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 73, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Cars Hommes & Joep Sonnemans & Jan Tuinstra & Henk van de Velden, 2005. "Coordination of Expectations in Asset Pricing Experiments," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 955-980.
  3. Hommes, Cars H., 1994. "Dynamics of the cobweb model with adaptive expectations and nonlinear supply and demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 315-335, August.
  4. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1994. "Genetic algorithm learning and the cobweb model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 3-28, January.
  5. 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.
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  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1985. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
  9. Kirman, A., 1997. "Interaction and Markets," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 97a02, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  10. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Indeterminacy of Equilibria in a Hyperinflationary World: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1073-107, September.
  11. Hommes, Cars & Sorger, Gerhard, 1998. "Consistent Expectations Equilibria," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 287-321, September.
  12. Chiarella, Carl, 1988. "The cobweb model: Its instability and the onset of chaos," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 377-384, October.
  13. Grandmont Jean-michel & Laroque G, 1990. "Economic dynamics with learning : some instability examples," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9007, CEPREMAP.
  14. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Froot, Kenneth A, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 133-53, March.
  15. Hey, John D., 1994. "Expectations formation: Rational or adaptive or ...?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 329-349, December.
  16. 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.
  17. Hugh Kelley & Daniel Friedman, 2002. "Learning to Forecast Price," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 556-573, October.
  18. Guesnerie, R., 1989. "An Exploration of the Eductive Justifications of the Rational Expectations Hypotbesis," DELTA Working Papers 89-24, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  19. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1999. "Learning dynamics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 449-542 Elsevier.
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