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Beauty Contests and Irrational Exuberance: A Neoclassical Approach

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  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Guido Lorenzoni
  • Alessandro Pavan

Abstract

The arrival of new, unfamiliar, investment opportunities is often associated with "exuberant" movements in asset prices and real economic activity. During these episodes of high uncertainty, financial markets look at the real sector for signals about the profitability of the new investment opportunities, and vice versa. In this paper, we study how such information spillovers impact the incentives that agents face when making their real economic decisions. On the positive front, we find that the sensitivity of equilibrium outcomes to noise and to higher-order uncertainty is amplified, exacerbating the disconnect from fundamentals. On the normative front, we find that these effects are symptoms of constrained inefficiency; we then identify policies that can improve welfare without requiring the government to have any informational advantage vis-a-vis the market. At the heart of these results is a distortion that induces a conventional neoclassical economy to behave as a Keynesian "beauty contest" and to exhibit fluctuations that may look like "irrational exuberance" to an outside observer.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 661465000000000237.

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Date of creation: 08 Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:661465000000000237

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  1. Amador, Manuel & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "Learning from Private and Public Observation of Other's Actions," MPRA Paper 109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
  3. Davidson, Malcolm & Gorton, Gary B, 1995. "Stock Market Efficiency and Economic Efficiency: Is There a Connection?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2008. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 86, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  5. Manuel Amador & Pierre Olivier Weill, 2008. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," 2008 Meeting Papers 390, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Christian Hellwig & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 223-251.
  7. Christian Hellwig, . "Monetary Business Cycle Models: Imperfect Information (Review Article, March 2006)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 377, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Simon Gilchrist & Charles P. Himmelberg & Gur Huberman, 2004. "Do Stock Price Bubbles Influence Corporate Investment?," NBER Working Papers 10537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Goldstein, Itay & Ozdenoren, Emre & Yuan, Kathy, 2013. "Trading frenzies and their impact on real investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 566-582.
  10. George-Marios Angeletos & Guido Lorenzoni & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Wall Street and Silicon Valley: A Delicate Interaction," NBER Working Papers 13475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dupor, Bill, 2005. "Stabilizing non-fundamental asset price movements under discretion and limited information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 727-747, May.
  12. Franck Portier & Aude Pommeret & Olivier Loisel, 2008. "Monetary policy and herd behavior in new-tech investment," 2008 Meeting Papers 444, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. David P. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2012. "Endogenous Information Acquisition in Coordination Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 340-374.
  14. Itay Goldstein & Alexander Guembel, 2008. "Manipulation and the Allocational Role of Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 133-164.
  15. Laura L. Veldkamp, 2006. "Media Frenzies in Markets for Financial Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 577-601, June.
  16. repec:bla:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:1:p:305-338 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Efficient Use of Information and Social Value of Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1103-1142, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2010. "Predictability of Asset Returns and the Efficient Market Hypothesis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3116, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Jess Benhabib & Pengfei Wang, 2014. "Private Information and Sunspots in Sequential Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 20044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kaizoji, Taisei (kaizoji@icu.ac.jp), 2010. "A behavioral model of bubbles and crashes," MPRA Paper 35655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Itay Goldstein & Emre Ozdenoren & Kathy Yuan, 2011. "Trading Frenzies and their Impact on Real Investment," FMG Discussion Papers dp670, Financial Markets Group.
  5. Albagli, Elias & Hellwig, Christian & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Information Aggregation, Investment, and Managerial Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 8539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Tinn, K & Vourvachaki, E, 2013. "Can overpricing of technology stocks be good for welfare? Positive spillovers vs. equity market losses," Working Papers 12192, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
  7. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2014. "Solving DSGE portfolio choice models with dispersed private information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.

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