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Two heads are less bubbly than one: Team decision-making in an experimental asset market

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  • Cheung, Stephen L.
  • Palan, Stefan

Abstract

In the world of mutual funds management, responsibility for investment decisions is increasingly entrusted to small teams instead of individuals. Yet the effect of team decision-making in a market environment has never been studied in a controlled experiment. In this paper, we investigate the effect of team decision-making in an asset market experiment that has long been known to reliably generate price bubbles and crashes in markets populated by individuals. We find that this tendency is substantially reduced when each decision-making unit is instead a team of two. This holds across a broad spectrum of measures of the severity of mispricing, both under a continuous double-auction institution and in a call market. The result is not driven by reduced turnover due to time required for deliberation by teams, and continues to hold even when subjects are experienced. Our result also holds not only when our teams treatments are compared to the ‘narrow' baseline provided by the corresponding individuals treatments, but also when compared more broadly to the results of the large body of previous research on markets of this kind.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2123/7778
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Sydney, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2011-08.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/7778

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Keywords: group decision-making; price bubbles; asset market experiments;

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References

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  1. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2004. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-09, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  2. Porter, David P & Smith, Vernon L, 1995. "Futures Contracting and Dividend Uncertainty in Experimental Asset Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(4), pages 509-41, October.
  3. Bettina Kuon & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Barbara Mathauschek, 1999. "Teams Take the Better Risks," Discussion Paper Serie B 452, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. van Rooij, Maarten & Lusardi, Annamaria & Alessie, Rob, 2011. "Financial literacy and stock market participation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 449-472, August.
  5. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-51, September.
  6. Charness, Gary B & Karni, Edi, 2007. "Individual and Group Decision Making Under Risk: An Experimental Study of Bayesian Updating and Violations of First-order Stochastic Dominance," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt4gr7j8z8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  7. Bone, John & Hey, John & Suckling, John, 1999. "Are Groups More (or Less) Consistent Than Individuals?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 63-81, April.
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  15. Reshmaan N. Hussam & David Porter & Vernon L. Smith, 2008. "Thar She Blows: Can Bubbles Be Rekindled with Experienced Subjects?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 924-37, June.
  16. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
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  19. Marco Casari & Christine Jackson & Jingjing Zhang, 2009. "Do Groups Fall Prey to the Winner's Curse?," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-18, McMaster University.
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  21. Noussair, C. & Robin, S. & Ruffieux, B., 1998. "Bubbles and Anti-Crashes in Laboratory Asset Markets with Constant Fundamental Values," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1119, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  22. Blinder, Alan S & Morgan, John, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better than One? Monetary Policy by Committee," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 789-811, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kugler, Tamar & Kausel, E.E. & Kocher, Martin G., 2012. "Are groups more rational than individuals? A review of interactive decision making in groups," Munich Reprints in Economics 18215, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Haoran He & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "Are teams less inequality averse than individuals?," Working Papers halshs-00996545, HAL.
  3. Cheung, Stephen L. & Hedegaard, Morten & Palan, Stefan, 2014. "To see is to believe: Common expectations in experimental asset markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 84-96.
  4. Stefan Palan, 2013. "A Review of Research into Smith, Suchanek and Williams Markets," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2013-04, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
  5. Giovanni Giusti & Janet Hua Jiang & Yiping Xu, 2014. "Interest on Cash, Fundamental Value Process and Bubble Formation on Experimental Asset Markets," Working Papers 14-18, Bank of Canada.
  6. Jingjing Zhang, 2012. "Communication in asymmetric group competition over public goods," ECON - Working Papers 069, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Stéphane Robin & Katerina Straznicka & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2012. "Bubbles and Incentives : An Experiment on Asset Markets," Working Papers halshs-00768434, HAL.
  8. Stefan Palan, 2014. "A Software for Asset Market Experiments," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2014-01, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
  9. Füllbrunn, Sascha & Rau, Holger & Weitzel, Utz, 2013. "Do ambiguity effects survive in experimental asset markets?," MPRA Paper 44700, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Powell, O.R., 2010. "Essays on experimental bubble markets," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4219264, Tilburg University.

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