Signal Accuracy and Informational Cascades
AbstractIn an observational learning environment, rational agents with incomplete information may mimic the actions of their predecessors even when their own signal suggests the opposite. This herding behaviour may lead the society to an inefficient outcome if the signals of the early movers happen to be incorrect. This paper analyses the effect of signal accuracy on the probability of an inefficient informational cascade. The literature so far has suggested that an increase in signal accuracy leads to a decline in the probability of inefficient herding, because the first movers are more likely to make the correct choice. Indeed, the simulation results in Bikhchandani, Hirshleifer and Welch (1992) support this proposition. This paper however shows this not to be the case in general. We present simulations that demonstrate that even a small departure from symmetry in signal accuracy may lead to non-monotonic results. An increase in signal accuracy may result in a higher likelihood of an inefficient cascade.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5219.
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Other versions of this item:
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- De Vany, Arthur & Lee, Cassey, 2001. "Quality signals in information cascades and the dynamics of the distribution of motion picture box office revenues," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 593-614, March.
- 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.
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
- Zvika NEEMAN & Gerhard O. OROSEL, 1997.
"Herding and the Winner's Curse in Markets with Sequential Bids,"
Vienna Economics Papers
vie9711, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
- Neeman, Zvika & Orosel, Gerhard O., 1999. "Herding and the Winner's Curse in Markets with Sequential Bids," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 91-121, March.
- Welch, Ivo, 1992. " Sequential Sales, Learning, and Cascades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 695-732, June.
- Pastine, Tuvana, 2005.
"Social Learning in Continuous Time: When are Informational Cascades More Likely to be Inefficient?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5120, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ivan Pastine & Tuvana Pastine, 2006. "Social Learning in Continuous Time - When are Informational Cascades More Likely to be Inefficient?," Working Papers 200621, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
- Choi, Chong Ju & Dassiou, Xeni & Gettings, Stephen, 2000. "Herding Behaviour and the Size of Customer Base as a Commitment to Quality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(267), pages 375-98, August.
- Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
- Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988.
"Herd behavior and investment,"
WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994.
"Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment,"
Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-85, September.
- Gale, D. & Chamley, C., 1992. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Papers 10, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-48, September.
- Angela A. Hung & Charles R. Plott, 2001. "Information Cascades: Replication and an Extension to Majority Rule and Conformity-Rewarding Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1508-1520, December.
- Devenow, Andrea & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Rational herding in financial economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 603-615, April.
- Kennedy, Robert E, 2002. "Strategy Fads and Competitive Convergence: An Empirical Test for Herd Behavior in Prime-Time Television Programming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 57-84, March.
- Lee Nelson, 2002. "Persistence and Reversal in Herd Behavior: Theory and Application to the Decision to Go Public," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 65-95, March.
- Fiore, Annamaria & Morone, Andrea, 2007.
"A Simple Note on Informational Cascades,"
Economics Discussion Papers
2007-21, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- Fiore, Annamaria & Morone, Andrea, 2008. "A Simple Note on Informational Cascades," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.