Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the power and weakness of rational expectations: Logical fallacies, periodic bubbles and business cycles

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gracia, Eduard
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    A popular interpretation of the Rational Expectations/Efficient Markets hypothesis states that, if the hypothesis holds, then market valuations must follow a random walk. This postulate has frequently been criticized on the basis of empirical evidence. Yet the assertion itself incurs what we could call 'fallacy of probability diffusion symmetry': although market efficiency does indeed imply that the mean (i.e. expected) path must be a random walk, if the probability diffusion process is asymmetric then the observed path will most closely resemble not the mean but the median, which does not necessarily follow a random walk. To illustrate the implications, this paper develops an efficient markets model where the median path of Tobin's q ratio displays regular cycles of bubbles and crashes reflecting an agency problem between investors and producers. The model is tested against US market data, with results suggesting that such a regular cycle does indeed exist and is statistically significant. The aggregate production function in Gracia (Uncertainty and Capacity Constraints: Reconsidering the Aggregate Production Function, 2011) is then put forward to show how financial fluctuations can drive the business cycle by periodically impacting aggregate productivity and, as a consequence, GDP growth. --

    Download Info

    If 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.
    File URL: http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2012-27
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/59032/1/71783719X.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2012-27.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201227

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Kiellinie 66, D-24105 Kiel
    Phone: +49 431 8814-1
    Fax: +49 431 8814528
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.economics-ejournal.org/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Rational Expectations; efficient markets; financial bubbles; stock markets; booms and crashes; Tobin's q; business cycles; economic rents;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:
    as in new window
    1. Young, Alwyn, 1994. "Lessons from the East Asian NICS: A contrarian view," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 964-973, April.
    2. Bezemer, Dirk, 2009. "No one saw this coming. Understanding financial crisis through accounting models," Research Report 09002, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.