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Booms and Busts in Asset Prices

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  • Klaus Adam
  • Albert Marcet

Abstract

We show how low-frequency boom and bust cycles in asset prices can emerge from Bayesian learning by investors. Investors rationally maximize infinite horizon utility but hold subjective priors about the asset return process that we allow to differ infinitesimally from the rational expectations prior. Bayesian updating of return beliefs then gives rise to selfreinforcing return optimism that results in an asset price boom. The boom endogenously comes to an end because return optimism causes investors to make optimistic plans about future consumption. The latter reduces the demand for assets that allow to intertemporally transfer resources. Once returns fall short of expectations, investors revise return expectations downward and set in motion a self-reinforcing price bust. In line with available survey data, the learning model predicts return optimism to comove positively with market valuation. In addition, the learning model replicates the low frequency behavior of the U.S. price dividend ratio over the period 1926-2006.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1059.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1059

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: asset price fluctuations; boom and bust cycles;

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  1. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Pok-sang Lam & Nelson C. Mark, 1998. "Asset Pricing with Distorted Beliefs: Are Equity Returns Too Good To Be True?," NBER Working Papers 6354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Philippe Bacchetta & Elmar Mertens & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Predictability in Financial Markets: What Do Survey Expectations Tell Us?," Working Papers 102006, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  3. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1994. "By force of habit: a consumption-based explanation of aggregate stock market behavior," Working Papers 94-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Cogley, Timothy & Sargent, Thomas J., 2008. "The market price of risk and the equity premium: A legacy of the Great Depression?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 454-476, April.
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  7. Eva Carceles Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2006. "Asset pricing with adaptive learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 25, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Pástor, Luboš & Veronesi, Pietro, 2002. "Stock Valuation and Learning about Profitability," CEPR Discussion Papers 3410, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
  10. Eva Carceles-Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2007. "Online Appendix to Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," Technical Appendices carceles08, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  11. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  12. Timmermann, Allan, 1996. "Excess Volatility and Predictability of Stock Prices in Autoregressive Dividend Models with Learning," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 523-57, October.
  13. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  14. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet & Juan Pablo Nicolini, 2006. "Learning and Stock Market Volatility," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 15, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. Timmermann, Allan G, 1993. "How Learning in Financial Markets Generates Excess Volatility and Predictability in Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1135-45, November.
  16. Brennan, Michael J. & Xia, Yihong, 2001. "Stock price volatility and equity premium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 249-283, April.
  17. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert, 2009. "Internal Rationality and Asset Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 7498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
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  1. Riots, sell-offs & cascades
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-08-09 13:59:23
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