Sheep in Wolves' Clothing?
AbstractThe 1990s have been a decade of upheaval in international financial markets. Much of the responsibility for financial instability has been placed on speculators, particularly hedge funds. Speculative capital has been characterized as "hot money", with capital flows driven by "herding" and "contagion" among players in foreign-exchange, stock, bond, and commodity markets. Policies to deal with financial instability by weakening, or even disabling speculation, have been based largely on anecdote, convenience (speculators have long served as scapegoats for various problems), and ideology, rather than careful analysis. Part of the problem arises from the secrecy with which speculators operate. Since speculative trading cannot easily be observed, it is difficult to assess speculators' contribution, if any, to financial volatility. This paper looks at speculative behavior in one of the largest, and most volatile, international financial markets, petroleum derivatives. It utilizes a large, detailed database on individual trader positions in crude-oil and heating-oil futures markets. The paper is exploratory, focusing on measuring and assessing the tendency of speculators to herd. Two theories behind rational herding behavior are examined - the asymmetric information view (poorly-informed traders make decisions based on observing well-informed traders, rather than market fundamentals) and the monitoring/incentive view (institutiona investors make decisions knowing that their incentives are based on performance relative to a benchmark such as mean returns for a group). These theories generate different predictions regarding the types of speculators most likely to herd. The evidence does not support the view that herding among speculators as a group is widespread in this market. In contrast, evidence in favor of a moderate degree of herding among one group of speculators, commodity-fund managers. The evidence is supportive of the monitoring/incentive theory, but not the asymmetric-information theory.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by GREEN in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0001.
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Bureau 2245, Pavillon J.-A.-DeSève, Québec (Québec) G1K 7P4
Phone: (418) 656-2096
Fax: (418) 656-7412
Web page: http://www.green.ecn.ulaval.ca
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Devenow, Andrea & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Rational herding in financial economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 603-615, April.
- Fung, William & Hsieh, David A., 1999. "A primer on hedge funds," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 309-331, September.
- Takatoshi Ito & Richard K. Lyons & Michael T. Melvin, 1997.
"Is There Private Information in the FX Market? The Tokyo Experiment,"
NBER Working Papers
5936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Takatoshi Ito & Richard K. Lyons & Michael T. Melvin, 1998. "Is There Private Information in the FX Market? The Tokyo Experiment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 1111-1130, 06.
- Takatoshi Ito & Richard K. Lyons & Michael T. Melvin, 1996. "Is There Private Information in the FX Market? The Tokyo Experiment," Working Papers _005, University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
- Takatoshi Ito Richard K. Lyons and Michael T. Melvin., 1997. "Is There Private Information in the FX Market? The Tokyo Experiment," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-270, University of California at Berkeley.
- Takatosh Ito & Richard K. Lyons & Michael T. Melvin, 1997. "Is there private information in the FX market? the Tokyo experiment," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 97-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Ito, T. & Lyons, R. & Melvin, M.T., 1997. "Is There Private Information on the FX Market? The Tokyo Experiment," Papers 97-04, Economisch Institut voor het Midden en Kleinbedrijf-.
- Lakonishok, Josef & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1992. "The impact of institutional trading on stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 23-43, August.
- Flood, Robert P & Hodrick, Robert J, 1990. "On Testing for Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 85-101, Spring.
- Barry Eichengreen, James Tobin, and Charles Wyplosz., 1994.
"Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance,"
Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers
C94-045, University of California at Berkeley.
- Eichengreen, Barry & Tobin, James & Wyplosz, Charles, 1995. "Two Cases for Sand in the Wheels of International Finance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 162-72, January.
- Woochan Kim & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999.
"Foreign Portfolio Investors Before and During a Crisis,"
NBER Working Papers
6968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kim, Woochan & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2002. "Foreign portfolio investors before and during a crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 77-96, January.
- Wei, S.J. & Kim, W., 1999. "Foreign Portfolio Investors Before and During a Crisis," Papers 6, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
- Woochan Kim & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Foreign Portfolio Investors Before and during a Crisis," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 210, OECD Publishing.
- Woochan Kim & Shang-Jin Wei, 1999. "Foreign Portfolio Investors before and during a Crisis," CID Working Papers 6, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Manaster, Steven & Mann, Steven C, 1996. "Life in the Pits: Competitive Market Making and Inventory Control," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 953-75.
- Hartzmark, Michael L, 1991. "Luck versus Forecast Ability: Determinants of Trader Performance in Futures Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(1), pages 49-74, January.
- Russ Wermers, 1999. "Mutual Fund Herding and the Impact on Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 581-622, 04.
- Dale, Charles & Zyren, John, 1996. "Noncommercial Trading in the Energy Futures Market," MPRA Paper 47463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Johanne Perron).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.