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Learning and Excess Volatility

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Author Info

  • James Bullard

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • John Duffy

    ()
    (University of Pittsburgh)

Abstract

We introduce adaptive learning behavior into a general equilibrium lifecycle economy with capital accumulation. Agents form forecasts of the rate of return to capital assets using least squares autoregressions on past data. We show that, in contrast to the perfect foresight dynamics, a dynamical system under learning-possess equilibria is characterized by persistent excess volatility in returns to capital. We explore a quantitative case for these learning equilibria. We use an evolutionary search algorithm to calibrate a version of the system under learning and show that this system can generate data that matches some features of the time-series data for U.S. stock returns and per capita consumption. We argue that this finding provides support for the hypothesis that the observed excess volatility in asset returns can be explained by changes in investor expectations against a background of relatively small changes in fundamental factors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 with number 224.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf9:224

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Postal: CEF99, Boston College, Department of Economics, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA
Fax: +1-617-552-2308
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/CEF99/
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References

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  1. West, Kenneth D, 1988. " Bubbles, Fads and Stock Price Volatility Tests: A Partial Evaluation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 639-56, July.
  2. Campbell, John, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Hommes, Cars & Sorger, Gerhard, 1998. "Consistent Expectations Equilibria," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 287-321, September.
  4. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-74, May.
  5. S. Grossman & R. Shiller, . "The Determinants of the Variability of Stock Market Price," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 18-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. repec:cup:macdyn:v:2:y:1998:i:3:p:287-321 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 2343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. James Bullard, 1991. "Learning equilibria," Working Papers 1991-004, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Arifovic, Jasmina & Bullard, James & Duffy, John, 1997. " The Transition from Stagnation to Growth: An Adaptive Learning Approach," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 185-209, July.
  10. 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.
  11. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
  12. Albert Marcet & Juan P. Nicolini, 2003. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1476-1498, December.
  13. John Y. Campbell, 1998. "Asset Prices, Consumption, and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:att:wimass:9625 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
  16. Farebrother, R W, 1980. "The Durbin-Watson Test for Serial Correlation When There Is No Intercept in the Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1553-63, September.
  17. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1994. "Expectations formation and stability of large socioeconomic systems," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9424, CEPREMAP.
  18. W. Brian Arthur & John H. Holland & Blake LeBaron & Richard Palmer & Paul Taylor, 1996. "Asset Pricing Under Endogenous Expectation in an Artificial Stock Market," Working Papers 96-12-093, Santa Fe Institute.
  19. Shiller, Robert J, 1981. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 421-36, June.
  20. 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.
  21. Bray, Margaret M & Savin, Nathan E, 1986. "Rational Expectations Equilibria, Learning, and Model Specification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1129-60, September.
  22. Hurd, Michael D, 1989. "Mortality Risk and Bequests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 779-813, July.
  23. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1996. "The Behavior of the Exchange Rate in the Genetic Algorithm and Experimental Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 510-41, June.
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